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UV vs RO – Which Purifier Should You Buy?

water pollution

With water pollution being rampant across the globe, water purification is essential for any consumption needs. As with any other modern technology, water purification has come a long way since its humble beginnings in ancient Indian and Egyptian civilizations. Back then, water was passed through sand and coarse gravel, following which it was either boiled or heated under the sun to purify it. In 1804, sand filters became widespread across Europe for filtering water. Treatment of water to clear it of pollutants and germs began as early as the 1900s, with experiments conducted regularly to ensure the taste of water was maintained along with its purity.

It is the result of those experimentations and inventions that came after, that we now have multiple options when it comes to water filtration. However, choosing from these options based on your needs is a necessity as water quality ranges from place to place.

UV and RO filters are two of the more popular types of water filters. It is a common debate whether to invest in the best RO water purifier in India or to buy a UV filtration system. In order to choose between the two, it is important to know how each filtration system works and the pros and cons of the two:

What is a UV filter?

Reverse osmosis is a process wherein water is passed through a semi-permeable membrane by applying some pressure on the water. This membrane allows water to pass through but holds back any impurities, as small as ions and small molecules. The phenomenon was first observed in the late 1700s by scientists and utilized to clear salts from salinated water. This mechanism is used in modern-day RO filters to remove impurities such as sulfates, chlorine, nitrates, and pollutants from water to make it fit for consumption.

The technology has evolved since and utilized various types of membranes and systems to push water through them depending on which kind you buy. Today, scientists use the energy from the sun, solar power, to perform the process of reverse osmosis on a large scale to clarify water for larger areas. Militaries around the world also prefer this system of filtration to make water fit for drinking.


TDS stands for total dissolved solids and a measure of TDS is utilized to measure how many solid pollutants are present in water. Water sources with a high level of TDS require systems like ROs for thorough filtration. Hard water is water with a high amount of mineral content which gives it a bitter taste and makes it unfit for drinking.

RO systems also help clarify and make hard water sweeter. RO systems on their own are unable to completely eliminate disease-causing microbes from water. It is also essential to remember that RO filters waste around 3 liters of water a day. This is a large amount of water that must be re-used in order to make the use of RO filters environment-friendly. It is entirely up to users how they choose to use the water. The wastewater from ROs can be used to wash vehicles, mop the house, or simply to water plants!

What is a UV filter?

UV filters work by exposing disease-causing microbes to a wavelength of ultraviolet light that either kills them or renders them inactive. The germicidal properties of the sun have been utilized for many years, as was explained above. The sun is a rich source of UV light. A property of the sun that was first observed in the late 1800s. The unique application of UV filtration helped save the lives of millions of people. As it was instrumental in controlling the Tuberculosis epidemic that occurred in the late 1800s. Niels Fensen received a Nobel Prize for propagating the same in 1903.

In modern times, UV filtration is a widely used method of water filtration. A UV lamp placed in the middle of the system expels UV light. At the right frequency in order to eliminate disease-causing microbes. Water is passed through this system and the dispensed water is clean and fit for drinking. One of the best parts of UV filtration is its environment-friendly properties. These systems produce no waste, especially no toxic or water waste. Additionally, UV water purifiers have filters that are there specifically to catch debris and impurities. Albeit not as well as RO systems.

As you can guess, these types of filters are suggested for areas that receive water with a high quantity of disease-causing microbes. These filters require lower maintenance than RO filters and often cost lesser than buying RO systems. They are best suited for water that is previously treated by municipal treatment centers. Another benefit is that UV water purifiers can dispense clean drinking water faster than RO filters. Keep in mind that they are unfit for water with high TDS. And can dispense water that is full of solid impurities. Also, they do not change the taste of water in case it is bitter.

Getting the water that is supplied to you tested for TDS. Microbes is necessary before you choose which filtration system you prefer. Depending on this analysis, you can aptly pick the appropriate filtration system. On their own, these systems are incomparable as they both tackle different issues when it comes to water impurities. Their pros and cons are based on the type of water you receive in your household. The too-long-didn’t-read answer to which purifier you should buy is – test your water and then choose based on their function!

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