Tap Water On Airlines: Safe or Risky?

Tap Water On Airlines: Safe or Risky?

There are many of us that fly from destination to destination, but have you ever wondered if the water being served up during the flights safe to drink? If you really think about it, where is the water from? How long has is been in the plane? Is it replaced after every flight?

A recent study by Diet Detective and Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center did tests on water on airlines. The results of the study are kind of astounding. They rated the water from 0-5 based on results. The results were:

  • Alaska Airlines: 3.3
  • Allegiant Air: 3.3
  • Hawaiian Airlines: 3.1
  • Frontier Airlines: 2.6
  • Southwest Airlines: 2.4
  • Delta Air Lines: 1.6
  • American Airlines: 1.5
  • United Airlines: 1.2
  • JetBlue: 1
  • Spirit Airlines: 1

In 2011, the EPA instituted the Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR) to “ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is provided to aircraft passengers and crew”. The ADWR doesn’t go far enough. Sometimes the water can be sitting in those tanks for long periods of time and can grow bacteria while sitting there. A score of over 3 is considered “safe” to drink and only 3 airlines barely made the cut after this study. They are based on 10 criteria, including fleet size, ADWR violations, positive E. coli and coliform water sample reports and cooperation in providing answers to water-quality questions.

Overall the study concludes that it is safest to use bottled water on the flights you take. You can never be too cautious when it comes to the tap water provided on planes. Read more of the study here: https://www.dietdetective.com/airline-water-study-2019/

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