In 1861, one man changed the world. Louis Pasteur published his theory on microorganisms, opening a new front in the battle against tiny creatures that cause humans great agony. Pasteur, along with many contemporaries, opened our eyes to a world beyond our sight and the means to reduce its harm.


Today, food lasts longer, and a minor infection is no longer a death sentence.


Ironically, one of the greatest germicide defences known to the world was discovered 60 years prior by Johann Ritter: ultraviolet (UV) light, and in the 1930s, William F. Wells noted that UV attacks airborne diseases.


A decade after Pasteur, Cornelius Fox realised that ozone gas is a potent disinfectant. Today, public utilities use both technologies broadly to manage microorganisms in water. According to Chetan Mistry, Xylem Africa spokesperson, the rapid modernisation of these technologies is elevating the management of public utility water to new levels:


“UV and Ozone are very potent , but the technologies had admittedly been demanding to implement and sustain. Consequently, water treatment relies heavily on chlorine, which is highly effective and inexpensive.


But it has drawbacks, such as chemical contamination, corroding infrastructure and requiring special facilities and skills to stockpile and operate at scale. What we’re seeing in the market is water treatment managers are adding UV and ozone systems to reduce chlorine reliance, and use these systems where chlorine isn’t feasible.”


For example, Xylem deployed its Wedeco UV and ozone systems to eliminate bad tastes from water served by the Anderson Regional Joint Water System, which provides potable water to 14 water utilities in Upstate South Carolina, USA. Similar projects were successfully deployed in Algeria and Singapore, to name a few. Rather than ripping and replacing existing purification systems, the Wedeco additions helped improve results without adding more management overheads. The self-contained systems often reduce the cost of established chemical purification regimes.


In situations where using chemical disinfectants are impractical – such as cleaning public areas, including hospital rooms or taxi ranks – mobile Wedeco ozone and UV systems are highly effective. Wedeco has developed these technologies for over 40 years, an investment that is paying out handsomely for Xylem customers, says Mistry:


“Xylem’s Wedeco brand has transformed the industry by drastically reducing the carbon footprint of water treatment plants around the world with highly-efficient, reliable and environmentally-friendly technologies.


We are very proud of the brand’s strong heritage and look forward to future milestones as we continue to lead the way in helping customers to efficiently treat drinking water while reducing the use of chemicals.”



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