A microgravity whole body shower (WBS) and a waste water recovery system (WWRS) were used in a closed loop test at the Johnson Space Center. The WWRS process involved chemical pretreatment, phase change distillation and post-treatment. A preprototype Thermoelectric Integrated Hollow Fiber Membrane Evaporation Subsystem (TIMES) was used for distillation after pretreatment and the post-treatment was accomplished with activated carbon, mixed ion exchange resin beds and microbial check valve (MCV) iodine bactericide dispensing units. The purposes of this test were to evaluate a NASA approved Shuttle soap for whole body showering comfort; evaluate the effects of the shower water on the WBS and the TIMES; and evaluate purification qualities of the recovered water in a closed loop operation.
This paper describes the test hardware, the controls exercised for whole body showering, shower water collection and chemical pretreatment for microorganism control, TIMES operation and recovered water post-treatment. During the closed loop test, samples were taken to evaluate the water quality for both chemical and microbial impurities at selected locations in the water purification process. The water was recycled five times, thus demonstrating the feasibility of reusing reclaimed shower water in Space Station. Chemical pretreatment effectively controlled microorganism growth in the raw shower water and the TIMES with post-treatment effectively reduced the organic impurities and provided adequate and positive disinfectant.