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Why UV-C water sterilisers are useless in developed countries...

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We, the inhabitants of developed countries, are very lucky: our tap water is made drinkable by municipal / national commitment.

And do you know what? It works pretty well, in no way comparable to developing countries where access to drinking water is more the exception than the rule.

In hot countries (i.e. more or less the whole of the Third World), such as those in Africa, there are huge problems with bacterial pollution, which causes dysentery and repeated deaths. Despite all our efforts, around 1.2 million people die from illnesses linked to water quality.

It is quite possible that these figures will rise again, because chemical pollution is adding ever more violently to bacterial pollution: endocrine disruptors, textile dye residues, pesticides, medicines, microplastics, the list is long.

Chlorine is generally used to prevent bacteria from proliferating in drinking water, but UV-C radiation can also be used (not to be confused with LaVie's UV-A radiation, UV-C is lethal to humans and does not reach the earth because it is blocked by the ozone layer, thank you very much!

This UV-C radiation is absorbed by the bacterial DNA, causing it to mutate and making bacterial reproduction impossible (this is known as bacterial division, as the bacteria cut themselves in two in order to multiply).


The bacteria will not die, but they will no longer be able to multiply in your stomach, so you won't get sick. You can achieve exactly the same result by boiling the water for a few minutes. It's simpler, but uses more energy.

On the other hand, UV-C sterilisation, like boiling, is not purification, contrary to what some UV-C steriliser vendors claim: it does nothing to change the level of chlorine, taste, odour or chemical compounds in the water.

A simple carafe filter will do much better for less money.

So don't be fooled by attractive designs, or pretty sirens of false promises: there's absolutely no point in buying these kinds of products in France.

Why kill bacteria that don't exist?

The only use for these UV-C bottles (which pollute because they are fitted with a non-replaceable lithium battery that will last two or three years at most...) is for hiking, if you only have lake or river water available.

If I were you, however, I'd think twice before drinking this water, because as explained above, you'll only be removing the bacteria, so be prepared to drink chemical pollutants such as glyphosate, or why not lead, arsenic etc.?

In our LaVie process, for example, we use 50 times the amount of energy of commercially available UV-C bottles to dissociate the chlorine molecules.

A true purifier must be able to reduce chlorine and its by-products, chemicals, pesticides, traces of medicines, endocrine disruptors, etc.

For these UV-C bottles, you will only find evidence of bacterial abatement on their manufacturer's website, and for good reason...

With regard to developing countries, we are taking action through our solar product, LaVie SUN, which is available on the website And we have every intention of making an impact very soon.

I hope that you will now be able to make clear choices based on your needs, and never again confuse UVA purification with UVC "flash".

LaVie UV-A bottle

The only UV-A water purifiers : LaVie

LaVie® UV-A water purifiers work no filter, no maintenance and allow you to purify your tap water by 15 minutes.

They use an innovative, patented technology exclusive to LaVie®: photolysis of chlorine using UV-A radiation.

This treatment reduces chlorine and its derivatives, chemical compounds such as certain pesticides or traces of medicinesand tastes and smells found in tap water.

The result, which is of a very high quality, makes it possible to draw a definitive line under the consumption of bottled water.

The carbon footprint associated with the manufacture of the UV water purifier's aluminium tube is neutralised in just a few days of use, compared with the equivalent consumption of water in plastic bottles.


Pascal Nuti CEO of LaVie Water Purifier

Article written on 15/02/2021 by Pascal Nuti - CIO Solable - Passionate about energy, I'm constantly on the lookout for new targets for improvement, exploring cross-disciplinary paths using novel methods.

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