What Is Ozone Water Treatment and How Does It Work?
If you didn’t know, Ozone is one of the many naturally occurring gasses in the earth’s atmosphere and acts as a very powerful oxidizer. An oxidizer (or oxidizing agent) is a chemical species that undergoes a chemical reaction in which it gains one or more electrons and neutralizes harmful substances. In terms of the benefit it has on our planet, in our upper atmosphere it protects us from harmful radiation by filtering out the sun’s ultraviolet light.
It does not stop there though – ozone also helps us with our water filtration.
What Is Ozone Water Treatment?
Ozone water treatment is very versatile and can be used in both commercial and at-home settings. The process of water filtration uses ozone’s oxidative strength to filter out and oxidize impurities. Essentially, an ozone system contains an ozone generator, and that generator creates and then injects ozone into your water supply, and immediately starts oxidizing contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and metals.
Ozone water treatment is versatile in its filtration, too. Through the process, it will oxidize organic materials like bacteria, viruses, and parasites by removing their electrons, and killing their cells, eliminating the contaminants. Ozone does double duty though, actively eliminating other more metallic contaminants like iron, manganese, and copper. Through oxidation, ozone makes those contaminants more solid large, so essentially they become easier to filter out with mechanical filtration or other activated carbon filters. Oxidation can even go as far as to purify water and rid it of bad tastes and smells caused by chlorine as well.
How Does Ozone Water Treatment Work?
Ozone water treatment follows a relatively simple process – ozone is dissolved into the water, and the ozone does it’s thing! Ozone comes from oxygen; oxygen contains two oxygen atoms whereas an ozone molecule contains three oxygen molecules. In the atmosphere, ultraviolet light or electricity split oxygen molecules, and they attach to other oxygen molecules to form ozone. That reaction is simulated in ozone generators which then can be useful in the ozone water treatment process.
Electrical vs Ultraviolet Ozone Generators:
Electrical ozone generators produce ozone through corona discharge, similar to how it is produced naturally in a thunderstorm. In lieu of lightning, a high voltage charge is passed through oxygen inside a chamber and then the ozone is captured and used to treat water. In ultraviolet generators, oxygen is passed between a lamp and a quartz sleeve of UV light, which yields ozone and is then used in water treatment. Ultraviolet generators are not as powerful as electrical generators and generally produce ozone at a slower and less concentrated rate.
Pros & Cons of Ozone Water Treatment:
Pros: Ozone is a strong oxidizer that instantly neutralizes many different contaminants, so it is a very effective and reliable method for water treatment. It can also take care of the more difficult-to-treat water issues because of its power. Ozone treatment is also chemical-free and very pure and pollutant-free. Any wastewater yielded is safe to enter waterways. Ozone is incredibly reliable and tried-and-true because it has been done since the 1900s and is used widely today. Lastly, ozone water treatment is very efficient and fast, so it takes seconds to produce clean water.
Cons: Ozone can be an expensive process to perform compared to chlorination and has high equipment and operational costs. Generally, it could be more cost-effective for larger populations over time. Ozone treatment systems are difficult to transport and can be cumbersome and heavy. Lastly, the process could lead to corrosion or toxicity. Since ozone is a toxic gas, if it were to leak, it could be hazardous if exposed and also corrode pipes and fixtures as well.
Overall, an ozone water treatment system is a very eco-friendly and efficient method for water filtration and is something you may want to consider for your home or business if something chemical-free is at top of mind. Give us at Culligan a call if you’d like to get started with your own system!