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Technical Paper
John R. Schultz, Robert D. Taylor, David T. Flanagan, Randall E. Gibbons, Harlan D. Brown, Richard L Sauer, Duane L Pierson
The ability of iodine to control microbial contamination and biofilm formation in spacecraft water distribution systems is being studied. Two stainless steel water subsystems are being used. One subsystem has an iodine level of 2.5 mg/L maintained by an iodinated ion-exchange resin. The other subsystem has no iodine added. Stainless steel coupons are being removed from each system to monitor biofilm formation. Results from the first six months of operation indicate that 2.5 mg/L of iodine has limited the number of viable bacteria that can be recovered from the iodinated subsystem. Epifluorescence microscopy of the coupons taken from this subsystem, however, indicates some evidence of microbial colonization after 15 weeks of operation. Numerous bacteria have been continually recovered from both the water samples and the coupons taken from the noniodinated subsystem after only 3 weeks of operation.
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