How Southwest Airlines maintains the Drinking Water System on their Planes

Tue, Mar 20, 2018
ozone ozone disinfection process
#airplane water systems

When you think of oxygen, the first thing you might think of is taking a deep breath. But, at Southwest Airlines, our Maintenance and Engineering Team might just think about aircraft water system disinfection first when thinking about oxygen. We use a unique process using ozone gas to disinfect our onboard water system. This process uses electricity to create ozone that disinfects the entire water system before safely reverting back to oxygen.

The idea to purify Southwest’s water systems through ozonation came from an unlikely place – a California winery. The ozone disinfection process is one that large-scale wine makers have been using for years, but had not been used within the airline industry. What’s exciting about this process is that ozone quickly dissipates from the water and eliminates the need for flushing chlorine, or other chemicals, out of our water systems. The use of ozone also significantly reduces the time it takes to complete the disinfection process from several hours to less than one hour. After lots of research and proprietary Southwest Engineering design work, we were able to convert a reliable ozonation unit into an effective Southwest tool to keep our water system clean.

We hope you’ll enjoy this video where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at our unique water quality process!