Drinking Water Cross-Contaminated With Air Conditioning Water at LAX Terminal

All water in Terminal 6 was shut off after the incident on Wednesday morning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Passengers and workers in LAX's Terminal 6 were warned Wednesday not to drink the water or even wash their hands in the restroom. Some however, expressed frustration that they had not received a more thorough warning. Jane Yamamoto reports from LAX for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on March 13, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Mar 13, 2013)

    Water at Los Angeles International Airport was declared safe early Thursday after contamination led to a day-long shutdown of drinking water lines.

    The all-clear from health officials came after travelers and employees were warned not to drink or wash their hands with any tap water. The cross-contamination occurred in Terminal 6 between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. when a potable water line crossed with a non-potable line holding recycled and chilled water used for air conditioning, LAX spokesperson Nancy Suey Castles said in a news release.

    Los Angeles County Public Health officials indicated water quality tests were "below levels of public health concern" early Thursday.

    Crews continued to flush the water system late Wednesday.

    Airport operations were notified of the problem by a contractor working on a pump room in Terminal 6. All food and beverage sales in Terminal 6 stopped immediately, and passengers were redirected to adjacent Terminals 5 and 7.

    Terminal 6 includes flights from the following airlines: Alaska, Allegiant Air, Copa, Frontier, Great Lakes and United. The terminal houses Jody Maroni’s Sausage Kingdom, a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and several other eateries, according to the LAX website.

    Staff at Los Angeles International Airport covered all water fountains and gave bottled water to passengers and employees, Castles said. Restroom users were given hand sanitizers and wipes.

    There have been no reports of flight delays as a result of the water contamination, and the water in Terminal 6 will be tested before returning, Castles said.

    Airport officials said it was not clear how the lines became crossed.

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