Frequent Questions

Are there regulations pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act governing the use of ultraviolet (UV) radiation to disinfect drinking water?

Alternative disinfectants and disinfection techniques, such as UV radiation, may be used to comply with both the Stage 1 Disinfectants and Disinfection Byproducts Rule and Interim Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule. However, there are no regulations specifying the use of UV radiation disinfection techniques. Part 141 disinfection regulations are for inactivation requirements of microbiological contaminants rather than technology specific disinfection requirements (40 CFR 141.72). However, a system using a disinfectant other than chlorine should work with their primacy agency. Guidance on the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of using alternative disinfectants is available in the Alternative Disinfectants and Oxidants Guidance Manual (EPA815-R-99-014, April 1999). The manual addresses the following atlernative disinfectants: ozone, chlorine dioxide, potassium permanganate, chloramines, peroxone (ozone/hydrogen peroxide), UV radiation, and combined disinfectants. The document is available online at
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