Ultra Violet Waterworks
Water Disinfecting Device Saves Lives

Resources with Additional Information

Ultra Violet Waterworks (UVW) device

Ultra Violet Waterworks (UVW) is a small-scale, energy-efficient, and low-maintenance mechanism that uses ultraviolet light to cheaply disinfect water. It is a uniquely effective device that operates using the equivalent of a 60-Watt light bulb at a cost of as low as 4 cents/ton of water treated, treating 15 liters/minute, and providing enough drinking water for 500–1500 people. As a result, UVW is the first practical means of providing many communities in developing nations with readily accessible, disinfected, safe drinking water.

UV Waterworks is a water purification system that disinfects surface- or ground-water of the viruses and bacteria that cause cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other deadly diarrheal diseases that kill millions of people in poor, developing nations. It is effective on all water-borne bacteria and viruses, can be used universally, is inexpensive to buy and operate, is simple to use, and works with the flow from a standard hand pump. It uses 6,000 times less energy than boiling and has no effect on the taste or the smell of water.

UV Waterworks was developed at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California, and received both the Discover and Popular Science 1996 awards for innovations.

Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Ultra Violet Waterworks (UVW) is available in a full-text DOE report and on the Web.


UV Waterworks outreach support. Final report; DOE Technical Report Download Adobe PDF Reader, 1988

Ultra Violet Waterworks (UVW) Web pages:


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