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Common Pond Microorganism UV Dosages

Target Microorganism
The size, biological make up and life cycle of a microorganism all play a critical part in successful germicidal disinfection. By way of comparison, there are approximately 65,000 known protozoa and only 4,500 bacteria of which all require their own specific UV-C dose. A microorganism's size plays a significant roll in the UV dose required to irradiate it. Protozoa are often many times larger than bacteria and therefore require a much higher UV dose. The speed (flow rate) at which the waterborne microorganism travels through the UV housing (across the UV lamp field) establishes the UV dose (µWs/cm²) received (see chart below).


Required Microorganism UV Dose
click chart to enlarge

Microorganism Life Cycle

Life Cycle is another critical factor that requires consideration when applying UV Sterilization. For example, the marine parasite Cryptocaryon (salt water white spot) is an excellent representation of how complex a microorganism's life cycle can be. Cryptocaryon has a four part life cycle. A warm water parasite, cryptocaryon can be lethal to many species of marine fish. Diagram A is very descriptive, showing the many characteristics of this microorganism. The aquaculture community has waged battles against cryptocaryon and have lost, specifically at the encysted (Tomont) stage, simply due to its evasiveness by attaching itself to its substrate. Disease outbreaks still occur even with filtering the water column using extremely fast flow rates.


Cryptocaryon Life Cycle

Prerequisites of achieving successful UV disinfection

  • Identify the "Target Microorganism", consider its physical and life cycle characteristics
  • Determine its Required UV Dose
  • Determine the condition of the water to be treated (water temperature & UV transmissibility)
  • Contact your UV Manufacturer, ask questions regarding their UV Equipment's capacity compared
    to your specific needs
  • Select the UV Sterilizer model that best suits your application requirements
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