EPA is responsible for safe drinking water, both from your tap and on airplanes. In 2009, EPA published the Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR) to ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is provided to airline passengers and crew. The ADWR provides additional protection to the public from disease-causing organisms (e.g., pathogens) sometimes found in onboard drinking water by establishing barriers of protection targeted to the air carrier industry.
Prior to publication of the ADWR, EPA placed 45 air carriers under Administrative Orders on Consent (AOCs). Air carriers will remain subject to existing national primary drinking water regulations (NPDWRs) or to existing Administrative Orders on Consent (AOC), where applicable, until the compliance dates specified in the rule are reached.
Passengers with compromised immune systems or others concerned may want to request canned or bottled beverages and avoid drinking coffee, tea, and other drinks prepared with tap water.