International Space Station


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Wastewater Treatment

A crew of four aboard the International Space Station (ISS) uses about 21,000 liters of water per year (less than 10% of our use rate on Earth). It costs approximately $33,000 to transport a liter of water to the ISS; a total cost of $690 million per year. This is a pretty big water bill! As a cost-saving measure, water from urine, sinks and showers and even humidity in the air are recycled. The ISS wastewater treatment system, engineered in part by faculty and staff from Michigan Technological University, utilizes ion exchange and adsorption to clean the waste stream making it suitable for re-use…even for drinking!

International Space StationThe International Space Station

ISS Toilet

Toilet aboard the ISS

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