Drinking water aboard many US airplanes is unsanitary, according to
new findings by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Last November and December, the agency conducted a round of water quality
sampling of 169 randomly selected domestic and international aircraft at 12
national airports. Samples were obtained from galley water taps and lavatory
faucets for each aircraft. About one sixth, or 17.2%, of the aircraft tested
carried water contaminated with total coliform bacteria, a marker for the
presence of potentially disease-causing organisms. The finding prompted the
EPA to advise that passengers with compromised immune systems or other health
concerns request canned or bottled beverages and avoid drinking tea or coffee
that is not made with bottled water.
Hampton T. Airline Drinking Water Tainted. JAMA. 2005;293(8):921. doi:10.1001/jama.293.8.921-a