It is important to stay hydrated when flying, but you are going to want to stick to bottled water instead of any type of water while you’re on the airplane.
The one thing people always tell you to do before you fly is to hydrate. Drink lots of water at home, take water in the airport, and take water on the plane. Well, you might want to stock up on water while you’re still on the ground because a new study revealed that the tap water on airplanes isn’t very sanitary.
The Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com released an Airline Food Study investigating the quality of the food on 11 different airlines. This year, the study reviewed water safety criteria as well.
Back 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,” but that rule doesn’t go far enough.
The tap water served to customers and used to make coffee in tea is stored in water tanks that are not cleaned often enough and this may cause the water to be contaminated with bacteria.
A year after they put that rule in effect, one out of every ten planes still tested positive for coliform in their water. The Airline Food Study released in 2018 showed that not much has changed when it comes to water contamination on airplanes. You might think that the water tanks would be emptied and cleaned at least once a day but instead, they sit for long periods of time in contaminated tanks.
So, make sure you stock up on bottled water (and coffee or tea) while you’re still in the airport—it could save you from getting a nasty infection and ruining your business trip or vacation.