EPA Home » Ground Water and Drinking Water » Aircraft Sampling Operations
Air carriers are required to take water samples that detect if coliform bacteria are present. Coliforms are a group of related bacteria that (with few exceptions) are not harmful to humans. EPA considers them as indicators of the potential existence of other organisms that could be harmful, if present in drinking water.
In addition, coliforms are used to determine the integrity of the onboard drinking water system. If a drinking water sample result shows coliforms are present, the air carrier performs the appropriate corrective actions (e.g., cleaning and disinfecting the system) until a sample set is absent of coliforms.
The Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR) requires routine, repeat, and follow-up samples. Routine sampling is meant to be representative of the general conditions of the aircraft water system. Repeat sampling may provide confirmation of the event that affected routine sample results. Follow-up sampling usually indicates the effectiveness of the disinfecting and cleaning procedures.
Routine samples are collected on a specified schedule, which is determined by the frequency of disinfecting and cleaning procedures of the aircraft drinking water system. Repeat and follow-up sampling are performed as part of corrective actions.
Use the search bar or the drop-down menu to search through particular aircraft sampling records. Clicking the button headings provide various functions (ex. filtering the record set, adding search buttons, changing the sorting order, etc.)