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Coliform persistence in aircraft water systems and assessment of disinfection and flushing procedures

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

In 2009, the EPA promulgated the Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR), which aims to ensure that safe and reliable drinking water is provided to aircraft passengers and crew. The rule sets a schedule for disinfection, flushing and coliform/E. coli sampling, in addition to instituting best practices and operator training. In this study, a full scale reproduction of an aircraft drinking water system was constructed at the Test and Evaluation (T&E) facility in Cincinnati, OH. The water system was conditioned using municipal tap water with a mixture of free chlorine and chloramines, and subsequently contaminated with coliforms. Disinfection was undertaken using two common airline industry methods: chlorine dioxide at 100 mg/L (or higher) for two hours, and ozone at 1 mg/L (or higher) for 5 minutes. After disinfection, the water system was flushed until no disinfectant residual remained and then filled with treated municipal drinking water.

Results show that coliforms were not persistent on the aircraft plumbing surfaces, and no coliform positives were detected after disinfection and flushing. The one exception was the aerator attached to the faucet typically installed in the lavatory, was positive for coliforms after disinfection. These data suggest that the faucet aerators could be a source of coliform contamination that may result in coliform positive samples taken under the ADWR. Further experiments conducted on disinfection of aerators with glycolic acid and quaternary ammonia (both commonly used by the airlines) showed no detectable coliforms on coliform contaminated aerators after 30 minutes of soaking in the disinfectants. However, many airlines disinfect aerators by the above methods or simply replace the aerators during each disinfection, effectively eliminating this potential source of coliform contamination.

This dataset is associated with the following publication: Szabo, J., M. Rodgers, J. Mistry, J. Steenbock, J. Hoelle, and J. Hall. The effectiveness of disinfection and flushing procedures to prevent coliform persistence in aircraft water systems. JOURNAL OF WATER SUPPLY: RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY - AQUA. IWA Publishing, London, UK, 1-8, (2018).

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: See this page for license information.

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Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020

Metadata Source

Harvested from EPA ScienceHub

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Publisher U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Data Last Modified 2017-04-21
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 020:00
Schema Version
Harvest Object Id aa61d1d1-3c5f-4cbc-a977-b40e18227e5a
Harvest Source Id 04b59eaf-ae53-4066-93db-80f2ed0df446
Harvest Source Title EPA ScienceHub
Program Code 020:060
Publisher Hierarchy U.S. Government > U.S. Environmental Protection Agency > U.S. EPA Office of Research and Development (ORD)
Related Documents
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 92bbf7b100fe8fda1dd998c9f31c193c769cd7e9
Source Schema Version 1.1

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