"Enhanced TOC Reduction in Pharmaceutical Water Systems" by Water Works CEO, John Wammes

Ultrapure Water Journal, Volume 32 Number 3, (May/June 2015)
Enhanced TOC Reduction in Pharmaceutical Water Systems Using Highly Reflective UV Disinfection Reactors, by John Wammes, Gwynne Cavender, George Diefenthal, and J.R. Cooper, PhD


Ultraviolet (UV) systems are commonly used to provide disinfection in high-purity water systems used in pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic facilities, and research laboratories.

The requirements for high-purity water used in pharmaceutical systems are governed by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) and enforced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The requirements for Clinical Lab Reagent Water (CLRW), used in diagnostic facilities, is regulated by the Clinical Lab Standards Institute (CLSI).

With a liberal USP and CLRW TOC specification of 500 parts per billion (ppb), the UV reactors in these high-purity water systems normally use “ozone-free” UV lamps that do not generate any UV wavelengths below 200 nanometer (nm), which means that they are usually assumed to have little effect on organic contaminants and are mainly intended for bacterial control.

It has been observed, however, that high-purity water systems incorporating highly reflective UV reactors with ozone-free lamps are showing a significant reduction in total organic carbon (TOC) levels, compared to conventional UV systems.