Posts tagged UV-LED water purification
The Future of UV Technology
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Professional development has always been critical to our success at Acuva. Staying active in the UV and UV-LED communities and up-to-date on the latest trends, tools, and techniques enables us to share what we’ve learned with our customers, and apply that knowledge to our growing line of UV-LED water purification systems.

UV technologies are growing at an unprecedented rate. Technical breakthroughs open new doors of opportunity for businesses like ours to leverage UV technology and design products and processes that improve quality of life. Although UV has a long history in water purification, it is only recently that UV and especially UV-LED are looked at as viable, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional chemical disinfection methods.

 

What’s next for UV-LED?

Our Chief Technology Officer Dr. Fariborz Taghipour was invited to contribute to the International Ultraviolet Association’s (IUVA) quarterly publication, IUVA News. Respected the world over, IUVA’s mission is to advance the sciences, engineering & applications of ultraviolet technologies to enhance the quality of human life and to protect the environment.

Speaking on behalf of our team, Dr. Taghipour frames UV-LED as a “technology enabler” and industry game-changer:

“UV LEDs have the potential to transform the UV industry, not only by advancing the design and application of current UV modules, but by enabling the creation of entirely new products and markets.”

Looking to the future, as UV-LED technology becomes increasingly competitive, customers can expect power outputs and efficiencies to rise and price points to drop. Both the UVA-LED and UVC-LED markets are expected to enjoy dramatic growth in the coming years: experts predict the latter will jump from US$7 million in 2015 to US$610 million by 2021.

Specific to water treatment, the market is undergoing drastic change. While there is consensus UV is superior to water disinfection processes that rely on chemical agents, UV-LED is angling to surpass conventional UV lamps as the preferred methodology. Beyond replacing these lamps in existing systems, UV-LEDs compact designs, low power and maintenance requirements, and extended product lifespan place once unimaginable product integrations within reach.

Our UV-LED water purification systems are closing the gap in available technology, offering not only standalone units for individual off-grid or residential applications, but also moving into this new and exciting arena of opportunity. Modular developments provide the flexibility to seamlessly integrate with existing appliances that require or could benefit from purified water, casting an even wider net for people to have point-of-use access to purified water.

Read the full IUVA News article here.  

UV-LED: A Powerful Low-Power Solution

Across Canada, dozens of First Nations communities are under drinking water advisories. Whether water quality is unknown or confirmed not safe to consume (due to poor filtration or equipment failure, for example), these populations are at risk of exposure, contamination, and illness.

Many First Nations and remote communities also have limited access to power and maintenance resources, and rely on diesel generators to supply electricity; this makes water purification solutions like reverse osmosis or UV lamps problematic, as both have significant power requirements. UV-LED water purification, however, operates on little power, requires minimal maintenance, and is proven to have a long product lifespan.

To confirm UV-LED as a viable, effective solution for off-grid water disinfection, we travelled to Ontario, Canada and carried out microbial tests with an EPA-certified third party on pond water adjacent to Grand River and Laurel Creek. Both bodies of water supply drinking water to rural and urban communities, and are known to be heavily contaminated with Total and Fecal Coliform, a bacteria found in most natural water sources that indicates the possible presence of microbial pathogens.

Using a basic filter, 12V battery, and water pump, we tested untreated water against three flow rates to evaluate our water purification systems’ ability to eliminate coliform bacteria. As shown below, pond water can be passed through an Acuva system at a low to medium flow rate, and potable water can be processed twice as fast and meet NSF purification standards. Further, complete TC inactivation and elimination of other microbial contaminants is feasible at a UVT lower than 95% of most water treatment systems.

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Our vision at Acuva is to make safe drinking water accessible to communities around the world, finding new ways to reach new markets. We continue to explore applications and improvements for our proprietary technology, reducing form factor and increasing disinfection capabilities.

Read the full case study here.

Your RV Tank May Be a Breeding Ground for Legionella

A flourishing RV industry means that each year, a growing number of North Americans are hitting the road in their homes on wheels. The majority of these RV travellers venture out seasonally, taking advantage of the warm summer months to explore new destinations, sometimes for long stretches of time.

While on the road, most RVers rely on local tap water or other municipal sources for their water supply and storage; however, there is evidence to suggest this practice may be putting travellers at unnecessary risk. Ambient temperatures and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can produce conditions inside water reservoirs that are prime breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful contaminants. While proper and regular disinfection can buffer against contaminant-related illnesses, many RVers are wondering: is there a better way?

 

Legionella in RV Water Holding Tanks

In collaboration with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, researchers at Georgia Regents University commissioned a study of RV water reservoirs following a case of pneumonia where both the patient and the reservoir of the RV he was travelling in tested positive for Legionella pneumophila. Organisms belonging to the genus Legionella have been clearly and repeatedly linked to contaminated potable drinking water, and tend to surface in high numbers when water is heated, unused, or under-chlorinated.

Data from the Collaborative National Waterborne Disease and Outbreak Surveillance System is proof that legionellosis is a growing concern for public health professionals, despite being entirely preventable. Between 2001 and 2006, Legionella accounted for nearly 30% of drinking water outbreaks and 80% of water-related deaths.

A research team travelled to three separate campsites and found that a staggering 20% of on-site faucets and RV water tanks tested positive for different Legionella spp. Researchers also spoke directly with RV users to learn more about their RV maintenance practices; these conversations revealed that RVers seldom use chlorine to disinfect their water tanks. Only 50% had performed any general RV maintenance over the past year, with only 60% spending the time to clean out their RV water tanks.

UV-LED Water Purification

Installing a UV-LED water purification system is a proven, effective way to keep yourself and your guests from getting sick (whether from pneumonia or other common waterborne diseases). Because improperly sanitized RV water tanks and weather conditions impact the quality of your RV’s drinking water, making sure water is free from viruses and other pathogens at the point of use is critical.

Learn more about our innovative solution here.

The Truth About Bottled Water
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Water is both fundamental and essential to human life. It keeps our joints lubricated, our bodies hydrated, and our planet healthy.

As a general guideline, the Institute of Medicine recommends men and women over the age of 19 consume 3.7 litres and 2.7 litres of water per day, respectively. While the exact amount may vary depending on lifestyle factors, we access the water we need through liquids and foods with high water content (watermelon and cucumber, for example).

To satisfy these fluid requirements, more and more North Americans are reaching for plastic water bottles over simple tap water. There is a sweeping misconception that bottled water is not only more convenient than tap water, but also safer, cleaner, and healthier. But there’s a big price tag for this belief: bottled water drinkers spend an average of $100 billion dollars per year on single-use plastic bottles.

At Acuva, education is at the core of our business; we want to help our customers make choices that yield the highest financial, physical, and environmental benefits. To help you settle the longstanding bottled water vs. tap water debate, here are four bottled water facts that may surprise you.

 

Plastic water bottles: The facts

1. 25% of bottled water is sourced straight from the tap.

In recent years, major bottled water brands like Dasani and Aquafina have been found guilty of fraudulent labeling, marketing their products as sourced from natural springs when, in reality, they draw from public water sources—the same as household tap water.   

 

2. Tap water quality is more strictly regulated than bottled water quality.

Though you might pay up to 1,000 times more for a single-use plastic bottle than you would tap water (Americans, on average, spend $1.22 per gallon on bottled water), the quality of the product is generally equivalent or even inferior to what you have access to at home. Unlike the Food and Drug Administration that oversees the bottled water industry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is known for enforcing strict tap water testing and filtration regulations.

 

3. It can take up to 700 years for one plastic water bottle to decompose.

Petroleum-based plastics like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) don’t decompose the same way organic materials do. Each year, an estimated 35 billion plastic bottles are landfilled, littered, or incinerated instead of recycled, putting unnecessary stress on landfills and the environment by wasting upwards of $1 billion of reusable plastic.

 

4. It takes three times the amount of water to produce a plastic water bottle than it does to fill it.

The energy spent on manufacturing bottled water per year is enough to power 190,000 households for the same length of time.

 

Global consumption of bottled water grows by as much as 10 percent each year, which means every little change matters. Looking for ways to reduce your environmental footprint and go green? Here are a few options:

  • Organizations like Ban the Bottle are committed to eliminating the production and circulation of plastic water bottles. Their website is full of facts, tools, and resources to help you take action.

  • Invest in a bottled water alternative. While there are many ways to purify drinking water, making a one-time investment in a UV-LED water disinfection system is proven to deliver a purer, more potable product. One Acuva system can eliminate as many as 1.2 million plastic water bottles over its lifetime.

2017 Year In Review: A Note From Our CEO
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2017 has been a monumental growth year for Acuva, one we’re especially proud of. With change comes challenge, but also achievement; as we look back on the past twelve months, there is much to celebrate, and we’re excited to share some of our accomplishments with you as we look ahead to a new year filled with exciting opportunity.

 

New Products

Acuva exists to transform the way we think about and drink water. Considerable time, thought, and resources went into fine-tuning our proprietary technology before debuting our original suite of UV-LED water purification systems. However, keeping pace with evolving technologies and protecting our reputation as a global leader in water purification requires an unwavering growth mindset. Our team has this in spades.

Our goal is, and always has been, to deliver industry-leading solutions that respond to our customers’ needs and position us to provide safe, clean water to people around the world. Thanks to advancements in LED technology, this year alone we’ve successfully doubled our products’ performance to provide the same level of disinfection with half the UV-LEDs.

Your feedback also inspired us to completely reimagine our 1L unit. In September, we launched the Eco Water Purifier, a system as compact as it is powerful. The Eco is a smart, portable system whose applications we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of.

 

New Relationships

Early on, we recognized an opportunity to provide an eco-friendly alternative for RVs, boats, and cabins beyond bottled water or unreliable filtration techniques. Staying connected to these customer communities has helped us refine our technology in a way that suits their lifestyles and breeds trust. We’ve especially enjoyed connecting with influential members of the RVing market; endorsement from trusted sources like RV Geeks has improved awareness of our UV-LED technology and purification systems and we truly appreciate their support.

Although major cities including Vancouver and Paris have taken notice and invested in municipal-level UV water purification, we wanted to make our technology accessible to the residential market, too. In October we showcased our products at the Vancouver Fall Home Show, and look forward to exploring this opportunity further in 2018.

Demand for our product is growing; to continue to deliver on our promise of removing harmful microbial pathogens, we maintain positive, professional relationships with original equipment manufacturers and a growing group of distributors.

 

New Faces

The most valuable part of this business is the team we’ve built around it. Acuva’s successes this year—from developing IP to filing for 10 patents and getting our product to market—are due to the dedication and skill of our talented group of sales, operational, and technical professionals. I would like to take a moment to congratulate all of our team members on their hard work and help in transforming the water purification industry.

 

New Horizons

I immigrated to Canada from India with a goal to support a product that would positively impact the lives of people in my home country and beyond. Growing up in India meant I saw firsthand what is advertised in the media: that waterborne illness and disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Each year, 3.4 million lives are lost, and I’m proud to be at the head of a business that can drastically reduce these numbers by providing water free of harmful pathogens.

Our vision is and always has been to develop a technology that could scale to solve our planet’s global water crisis. Water is a basic human necessity, and we believe everyone deserves safe, clean drinking water. In 2018, we look forward to exploring opportunities to take our technology in the direction of this vision.    

Happy holidays to you and yours!

Sincerely,

Manoj Singh