In August and September, the EPA tested drinking water aboard 158 randomly selected domestic and international passenger aircraft and found that 12.6 percent did not meet federal standards.
Twenty of the planes that were tested -- which ranged from small commuter aircraft and jumbo jets -- tested positive for total coliform bacteria, signaling the possible presence of other harmful bacteria. Two planes tested positive for E. coli bacteria, which can cause gastrointestinal illness if it is severe enough.
The airlines that signed agreements with EPA were Alaska Airlines, Aloha Airlines, AA, HP, TZ, CO, HA, B6, YX, NW, UA and US.
DL and WN are still negotiating an agreement w/ the EPA. Now, are they talking about the lavatory water? I wouldn't drink water from there if you paid me a million bucks.
"The most terrifying words in the Engligh language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"-Ronald Reagan
Neilalp From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1034 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1657 times:
Not ice made on board, but back two years ago there were big stories out of DTW that not to have Ice on NW flights b/c the water that had been used to make it didn't meet standards. I tried searching online for the article but I believe those were the facts. Maybe someone who remembers more can fill in the rest.
Logan22L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1653 times:
I was thinking about this as I flew back from MSP, chewing my ice cubes, after attending a conference on water-borne contaminants a few weeks ago. The ~13% detection rate is similar to the percentage of domestic water distribution systems that also test positive. I wonder if the ice is brought on board, is it made from large sources of tap water (at "ice plants"). It's possible that airplanes have little to do with the problem, but more information is needed.
KANEBEAR From United States of America, joined May 2002, 953 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1615 times:
So I take it none of you have ever seen the FAs refilling the water bottles with lav-water on long-haul flights? The only water I drink on board is sparkling water and/or the sealed bottle that one gets in J/F class.
Eyesinthesky From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1609 times:
I have also nioticed a drinking water fountain aboard the wet-leased A/C of United for SAS IAD-CPH route. I wouldnt drink from it as long as I could get an ice cold bottle of water. Also, what about the coffee water?
NWAFA From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1893 posts, RR: 15
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1601 times:
Actually it was the water on board..(in the tanks). NWA was one of 6 or 7 airlines that had the problems..it had nothing to do with the ice.
Keep in mind here folks, its the WATER that is used for coffee and tea's. We have bottle water on board our flights.
To this day I will never ever have coffee on Southwest. It is so gross that their flight attendants cook in the coffee pots...Just last night I saw a gal heating up spaghetti sauce in the coffee pot..when she was done she poured Club Soda in the pot, swished it around, poured it out...then made a pot of coffee for a pax. YUK! I have seen this for years.
Those pots don't get washed either every day..( if I remember right, they never get washed from what crews have told me)
THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
Flybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1802 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1557 times:
Coffee water I assume is fine as long as it doesn't have particulates in it. Coffee water is usually boiled before the coffee is introduced so it kills off most of the bacteria.
I am sure you will have mildew and other fungi growing in aircraft reservoirs since they are not treated chemically after every flight. So stick to what you are assured is bottled water on a flight.
I'm a big fan of tap water, however bottled water looks very enticing when the tap water turns brown. I've had that happen to me a few times on my travels.
What I don't understand, is that in the USA where water goes through rigorous treatment and filtration processes, people still refuse to drink it. This is assuming you live in a sizable city and not near wells. Bottled water is nothing more that processed tap water with alpine mountains on the packaging.
"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
Logan22L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1507 times:
What I don't understand, is that in the USA where water goes through rigorous treatment and filtration processes, people still refuse to drink it.
Flybyguy: Amen to that! I work in the field of drinking water regulation, and I only drink tap water while I'm on the ground. Bottled water can be from many sources, including processed tap water, springs, treated groundwater, etc., and there are few regulations controlling it compared to tap water. Just another example of people ignoring the science, and believing the hype.
For more information on the airline testing, go to: