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-How Ozone Works-



         Ozone (O3) is an unstable compound generated by the exposure of oxygen molecules  (O2) to ultraviolet radiation or a high energy electrical discharge.  The weak bond holding ozone's third oxygen atom is what causes the molecule to be unstable and, thus, very effective.  Because of this instability, an oxidation reaction occurs upon any collision between an ozone molecule and a molecule of an oxidizable substance such as certain forms of iron and manganese or organic molecules (bacteria, viruses, and some plastics and rubbers).  In an oxidation reaction energy is transferred to the ozone molecule, leaving a stable oxygen molecule (O2) and a highly unstable oxygen atom (O1).  The molecule being oxidized then bonds with the loose O1 atom, creating an oxide of the substance.  Dissolved metals oxidize and are no longer soluble.  The structure of an organic molecule is changed by oxidation, which often causes the whole molecule to come apart (with some help from other ozone reactions).  Bacteria and virus cells are literally split apart by ozone.


Transfer of ozone into the water is critical for effective disinfections of mikveh water.  Only dissolved ozone is able to oxidize contaminants in the water.  Non-dissolved ozone off-gases to the surface and is lost.  One of the most effective means of introducing ozone into a water stream is by use of a Venturi injector.  The Venturi uses the water stream to produce a vacuum.  Ozone-containing gas is drawn into the Venturi by the vacuum and violently mixed with the water.  This process produces very small bubbles of the ozone-containing gas, enabling the ozone to dissolve readily.  The amount of ozone (concentration in ppm) that can be dissolved in water before reaching a saturation limit depends mainly on the following parameters:

  1. Water temperature and pressure

  2. Water pH

  3. Concentration of ozone in carrier gas

  4. Mode of ozone injection into water

Another method of introducing ozone into a mikveh is by blowing the ozone directly into the mikveh through a dispersing stone and a compressor.  

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