Feasibility of Treating Synthetic Greywater by Culturing Waldmann's Dark Green Lettuce in a Hydroponic System

by Ricardo B. Jacquez, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,
Michael Montoya, New Mexico State Univ, Las Cruces, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space IV


The objective of the research was to treat synthetic greywater in a hydroponic system culturing Waldmanns dark green lettuce (Lactuca Stavia L Var. Crispa L). The process is designed as a source of water and food in a closed environment such as NASA's proposed space station. The viability of this research is dependent on three aspects; greywater toxicity, greywater treatability and crop production. Based on results of toxicity experiments, a culture of mature plants was used for the sole purpose of greywater pre-treatment. The pre-treated water was then routed into other hydroponic systems containing young plants to test the viability of growing edible crops on the pretreated water. Chemical oxygen demand (COD) in the greywater was reduced by greater than 95% within 15 days of continuous recirculation. The treated greywater proved more than adequate for growing lettuce plants suitable for consumption.

Subject Headings: Water reclamation | Space stations | Space exploration | Space colonies | Feasibility studies | Crops | Water treatment

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