World’s First Medium Pressure, Closed Vessel UV Systems To Gain Californian Dept of Public Health Approval For Wastewater Reuse

Aquionics’ UV disinfection systems are the first closed vessel, medium pressure systems in the world to be validated for wastewater reuse applications in accordance with AwwaRF/NWRI* guidelines. Having undergone third party validation testing by Carollo Engineers, they have now been formally approved for post-filtration and reverse osmosis applications by the California Department of Public Health (Title-22 validation).


Wastewater reuse has been practiced in various forms for decades, with the USA leading the way in reuse research. It is now a major issue, with large areas of the Western and Southern states experiencing chronic water shortages. The problem is becoming more acute with population growth, with many of the most arid states, such as Nevada and Arizona, experiencing rapid increases in their urban populations in recent years. Large-scale reuse projects are now also being considered in other water-poor regions of the world such as Australia, China and southern Europe.

The most common method of wastewater disinfection for reuse has long been chlorination. Despite chlorine’s impressive track record, concerns regarding disinfection by-products (DBPs) and, more recently, disinfection performance with respect to pathogen inactivation, are driving the conversion from chlorine disinfection to other disinfection methods such as UV, which does not produce any significant DBPs.

Closed vessel UV systems are easy to install within existing pipework, so there is minimal disruption to plant operation. Day to day operation is simple and maintenance is minor. The only regular requirement is changing the UV lamps and wiper rings once a year, a straightforward operation that can be carried out by on-site personnel.

Potential applications for wastewater reuse are extremely wide-ranging and include any instance where water is needed for non-potable use. The most popular and widespread use is for agricultural irrigation, with California and Florida leading the way. Other irrigation uses include landscape and recreational applications such as golf courses, parks, and lawns.

Reclaimed wastewater is also used for groundwater recharge applications such as aquifer storage and recovery or preventing saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers. Other uses include toilet and urinal flushing, fire fighting, foundation stabilization in the construction industry and artificial snow generation. In all these applications, reuse wastewater relieves the burden on existing municipal potable supplies.

“We are extremely pleased that we have achieved this important validation,” commented Aquionics’ President Bill Decker. “Our state-of-the-art technology uses UV sensors to actually measure how the UV systems are performing. This permits much greater control while saving energy, especially when compared to the existing methods of applying crude safety factors to systems that use high numbers of lamps or are unwiped.”

* National Water Research Institute ( / American Water Works Research Foundation (

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