Jon McLean, president of Engineered Treatment Systems (ETS), talks to Water Online Radio about the characteristics of ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, its effect on contaminants, and the comparison between open-channel and closed-channel UV technology.
The following is an excerpt from the Q&A. Click on the Radio Player above to hear the full interview.
Water Online Radio: Help the audience better understand exactly what UV technology does, but then go deeper into ETS – because you guys do not use open-channel UV products, when it seems a lot of the market still does. Explain that.
Jon: We do not. Okay. So starting at the beginning, UV is used to disinfect water or wastewater. It is used to blow apart the DNA of living organisms. It is unselective, so will kill anything in the fluid stream.
There is more and more tolerance to chlorine, so bugs are becoming more and more tolerant of chlorine and biocides and there are more and more processes that are intolerant of chlorine.
So we find business in plenty of areas where either chlorine cannot be used or the bugs do not respond to chlorine. Why no open channels? Well, I think if the industry was applying UV for the very first time today, it would not do it on an open channel.
Open channels were designed 30, 40 years ago, and the technology really has not moved ahead. Handling the fluid in the closed pipe is a much more efficient hydraulic method of handling fluid. So it is really a progress change. Why, as a new company, why would we adopt a technology that is 40 years old?
Water Online Radio: Jon, I am curious about you know the threats to using UV technology. You mentioned that it kills all the bugs and that may well include beneficial ones? Is that a threat or what other threats are there with the growth of just using UV in different applications?