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Ozone for Water Treatment

Ozone units are usually installed as point-of-use (POU) at the kitchen faucet and used to process water intended for drinking and cooking purposes only.  Larger whole-house-units (WHU) are available and are placed at the incoming water supply to process all incoming water.

Ozone   is the second most powerful oxidizer, falling only behind Fluorine and is an extremely reactive chemical form of pure oxygen.   Like chlorine, ozone is a strong oxidizing agent and is used in much the same manner.  Ozone can be recognized as the product smelled near an electric spark or lightning strike.   Ozone has been used by  municipal systems in Europe to disinfect water for years.

 Ozone is effective for:

  • most amoebic cysts
  • viruses and bacteria 
  • phenols
  • removal through precipitation of iron and manganese which can then be removed through filtration
  • aid in turbidity removal
  • eliminating or controlling many color, taste, and odor problems

Most home ozone generated is through corona discharge or from a lamp which creates light at a slightly shorter  wavelength than ultraviolet. ( 185 nM)  The ozone is injected into the raw water whenever the there is a demand on the water supply. 


Ozone may not kill large cysts and some other large organisms, so these should be eliminated by filtration or other procedures prior to treatment.

ozone is extremely active as a disinfectant over a wide pH and temperature range vs chlorine

contact time is so short that it is not a consideration in the system design.

benefit of ozone treatment is the lack of potentially harmful by-products like trihalomethanes (THMs), which chlorination can produce when it oxidizes organic matter.

Most home systems use dry air to produce the ozone therefore the ozone is injected into the water through a pump and also includes a mechanism to clean and remove the humidity from the air must be included, and such a system requires routine maintenance.  

Residual amounts of ozone can be removed from the water prior to consumption by passing the water through a UV chamber, and/or an activated charcoal filter.

The rate that Coliform bacteria is killed when exposed to ozone has been published to be 3125 times faster than by chlorine. Therefore, contact time between water and ozone is reduced to the time necessary to achieve a concentration of 2 to 3 PPM (Parts Per million) in the treated water.  Ozone is a recognized weapon against Cryptosporidium.  


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Last modified: January 12, 2023