Viral Challenge of an Advanced Life Support Water Treatment System 972413
The ability of the water recovery system (WRS) designed for Phase II of the Lunar-Mars Life Support Test Project to remove viral contaminants was tested by challenging the system with bacteriophages MS-2 and PRD-1. Urine-pretreatment and ultrafiltration/reverse osmosis (UF/RO) steps each reduced the combined density of both bacteriophages from >109 to <1 Plaque-Forming Units (PFU)/100 mL. UF/RO also reduced the bacterial density from 108 to 107 Colony-Forming Units (CFU)/100 mL. Before UF/RO, the predominant species of bacteria in the water were Acinetobacter calcoacetious and Klebsiella pneumoniae; afterward, the predominant species were Burkholderia cepacia and B. picketti. The removal of the bacteriophages and the difference in predominant bacteria across the UF/RO step suggest that the Burkholderia had been established downstream of the UF/RO membranes before the test began. An aqueous-phase catalytic oxidation system (APCOS) and iodination further reduced the bacterial density from 107 to <1 CFU/100 mL. Neither bacteria nor bacteriophages were detected in the final product water. This WRS successfully removed viral and bacterial contaminants from wastewater.