In the United States, drinking water safety on airlines is jointly
regulated by the EPA, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Federal
Aviation Administration (FAA). EPA regulates the public water systems
that supply water to the airports and the drinking water once it is
onboard the aircraft. FDA has jurisdiction over culinary water (e.g.,
ice) and the points where aircraft obtain water (e.g., pipes or
tankers) at the airport. In addition, air carriers must have
FAA-accepted operation and maintenance programs for all aircraft, this
includes the potable water system. (EPA)
…the news carried stories that the US EPA had determined that 15% of
water on a sample of 327 aircraft flunked the total coliform standards
and inspections showed that all aircraft were out of compliance with
the national drinking water standards.
Rest assured, the EPA has crafted new rules to address the problem.