Frequent Questions

What are the results of EPA?s sampling of aircraft water in 2004?

During the summer of 2004, EPA conducted water quality sampling of one or more galley water taps, water fountains or lavatory faucets on each of 158 aircraft at 7 airports. As EPA announced in September 2004, 12.7% of those aircraft (20 aircraft) were found to be positive for the presence of total coliform bacteria.

During November-December of 2004, EPA conducted a second round of water quality sampling of 169 aircraft at 12 airports. This second round of monitoring sought water samples from galley water taps as well as lavatory faucets for each aircraft. EPA found that 17.2% of these aircraft (29 aircraft) were total-coliform-positive.

Of the aircraft sampled by EPA in this second round of sampling, 76.3% were US-based. For this round of sampling, the results for foreign-based or US-based aircraft were relatively close. Of the 40 foreign-based carriers sampled during this round, 17.5% (7 aircraft) were total-coliform-positive. By comparison, of the 129 US-based aircraft sampled during this round, 17.1% (22 aircraft) were total-coliform-positive.

Overall, adding together the results of the first and second rounds of EPA sampling of aircraft, EPA has sampled 327 aircraft in 2004. Overall, 15.0% of the aircraft sampled were found to be total-coliform-positive. Overall, 4.3% of the galleys or water fountains sampled were found to be total-coliform-positive; 14.0% of the lavatory faucets sampled were found to be total-coliform-positive. Overall, 49 aircraft were found to be total-coliform-positive. Overall, 76.8% of the aircraft sampled by EPA in this second round of sampling were US-based, and 23.2% of the aircraft. Of the 76 foreign-based carriers sampled overall, 19.7% were total-coliform-positive. By comparison, of the 251 US-based aircraft sampled, 13.5% were total-coliform-positive.
Have more questions? Submit a request