We describe a point-of-use (POU) ultraviolet (UV) disinfection technology, the UV Tube, which can be made with locally available resources around the world for under $50 US. Laboratory and field studies were conducted to characterize the UV Tube's performance when treating a flowrate of 5 L/min. Based on biological assays with MS2 coliphage, the UV Tube delivered an average fluence of 900±80 J/m2 (95% CI) in water with an absorption coefficient of 0.01 cm−1. The residence time distribution in the UV Tube was characterized as plug flow with dispersion (Peclet Number = 19.7) and a mean hydraulic residence time of 36 s. Undesirable compounds were leached or produced from UV Tubes constructed with unlined ABS, PVC, or a galvanized steel liner. Lining the PVC pipe with stainless steel, however, prevented production of regulated halogenated organics. A small field study in two rural communities in Baja California Sur demonstrated that the UV Tube reduced E. coli concentrations to less than 1/100 ml in 65 out of 70 samples. Based on these results, we conclude that the UV Tube is a promising technology for treating household drinking water at the point of use.

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