Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Drinking Water At LAX Has 'High Levels Of Bacteria, Particles Of Copper, Rust'

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

A report out yesterday by the Los Angeles Times highlights the abysmal conditions of drinking water in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. The drinking water in the terminal has been contaminated for at least several weeks, and apparently the conditions are so bad that international carriers have to pump in their own water in order to meet their standards.

According to the Times:

According to airport emails obtained by The Times, the water is brown and contains high levels of bacteria and particles of copper, brass and rust. Officials have conducted a review to see if contamination has also surfaced in the water fountains, dining concessions and restrooms used by passengers in the rebuilt terminal. The situation has forced international carriers to secure bottled water or forage for fresh water at other terminals, transport it to their planes in tanker trucks and then pump it into the aircraft — a time-consuming process with the potential for flight delays.

In one case, a Cathay Pacific departure was postponed 41 minutes while the ground crew loaded the plane with bottled water.

Now would be a good time to note that LAX is one of the largest and busiest airports in the entire country.

Officials have known about the contamination issue since mid-November and are scrambling to find a solution to the problem. An official with LAWA told the Times that the problem is centered on three new gates and a single old gate, though it is not known what particular gates are affected.

Support for LAist comes from

For now, it would be a good idea to bring a bottle of water with you if you're going to make an international flight—but make sure it's less than 3.4 ounces.