Among the challenges of designing and constructing Space Station Freedom is the development of the water system. A review of past efforts in reclaiming waste water in enclosed environments reveals that there are many gaps in the biomedical understanding of this process. Some of the key uncertainties of human interaction with a closed water system include determining potential contaminants and establishing safe levels of multiple compounds in the enclosed system of Space Station. Another uncertainty is the microbial constituency of such a system and what impact it could have on crew health and performance. The use of iodine as the passive biocide may have both an indirect and direct impact on the crew. In this paper the initial results of the Water Recovery Test are reviewed from a biomedical perspective, revealing areas where more information is needed to develop the ECLSS water system. By including the approach of “man as a subsystem”, consideration is given to how man interacts with the total water system. Taking this systems approach to providing the crew with a safe source of water gives useful insight into the most efficient design and utilization of closed system testbeds.