uv led lamp has evolved rapidly to the point that it is now available at a cost comparable to that of traditional mercury-halogen UV lamps. These systems offer a more compact form factor with a similar expected lamp life. Additionally, this technology does not require mercury for the generation of UV photons. This allows for a much smaller system footprint and increased energy efficiency.

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One of the many benefits offered by UV LEDs is the ability to vary the wavelength of the UVC irradiation for improved germicidal efficiency. Subtle shifts in the wavelength can dramatically increase the germicidal efficacy by causing changes to the action spectra of a microorganism. This can help decrease the fluence needed to achieve a given log reduction, reducing power consumption.

This is particularly true in wastewater treatment applications, where the system is often matrix limited (see Fig. 1) based on the daily flow rate. For example, the LP system at the Springfield Lake WWTF was operating at a 30 mJ cm-2 design fluence, yet achieved significantly lower inactivation than the LED system at that same fluence.

This is likely due to the fact that a higher proportion of the bacteria were attached to particulate matter in the matrix and thus shielded from the UV light. The 279 nm UV LED light source, on the other hand, was able to penetrate this matrix and reach bacterial communities that were previously unreachable by LP collimated beams at this wavelength. This resulted in a significantly greater upper level of disinfection (Nres) for the LED system as shown in Fig. 1.

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