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Chronicles from Concordia

Icy water

15 Feb 2016, 13:06 UTC
Icy water
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-F. van den Berg
Living in isolation in the remoteness of Antarctica how do you get drinking water? One thing that Concordia research station has enough of is snow. ESA-sponsored medical doctor Floris van den Berg explains all, taken from his personal blog:
“The nights are cool and I’m a fool
Each star’s a pool of water, cool water
But with the dawn I’ll wake and yawn
And carry on to water, cool, clear, water”
Bob Nolan – 1936
Credits: ESA/IPEV/PNRA-F. van den Berg
Water comes from the tap, just like at home, but drinking water comes from another tap, not like home. In Concordia, we have three separate water systems that are connected through the waste system. Drinking water is the first, Grey Water is the recycled wastewater we use for the shower, and Black Water isn’t recycled just yet.
We use fresh snow for the drinking water. It’s scooped up with a massive Caterpillar 953B, transported to the snow melter, and sterilised before we drink it. After the arrival of our French mechanic Gaêtan, I had the opportunity to give the collection process a try myself. Oh yeah! Is it super cool to drive a 15 ton ...

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