Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation is a common disinfection option for water treatment in the developed world. There are a few systems installed in developing countries for point-of-use treatment, but the low-pressure mercury lamps currently used as the UV irradiation source have a number of sustainability issues including a fragile envelope, a lifetime of approximately one year, and they contain mercury. UV light emitting diodes (LEDs) may offer solutions to many of the sustainability issues presented by current UV systems. LEDs are small, efficient, have long lifetimes, and do not contain mercury. Germicidal UV LEDs emitting at 265 nm were evaluated for inactivation of E. coli in water and compared to conventional low-pressure UV lamps. Both systems provided an equivalent level of treatment. A UV-LED prototype was developed and evaluated as a proof-of-concept of this technology for a point-of-use disinfection option, and the economics of UV-LEDs were evaluated.

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