Coliform bacteria found in drinking water at Berlin brandenburg airport

Valentin Baciu /

Berlin’s new flagship airport, Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), has caused quite the social media splash.

The fledgling airport has been plagued by teething issues, from overspending to repeated delays and reports of a leaky roof, but now something most unwelcome has been found lurking in its drinking water.

On November 2, BER took to Twitter to reveal that Coliform bacteria have been found during a routine test in the airport’s main terminal. Information was relayed to passengers by loudspeaker announcements, where they were urged not to drink the water in the airport.


So, what are coliform bacteria? 

Coliform bacteria are a large group of many kinds of bacteria, including fecal coliform bacteria, which occur naturally in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Most are harmless to humans, but some types of coliform bacteria can cause disease. The most common symptoms are an upset stomach, diarrhea, and/or flu-like symptoms.

While the cause of the contamination is being investigated, all pipes are being flushed.  

The water in all sanitary facilities in Terminal 1 should not be used as drinking water until further notice. The health department of the city of Berlin and the airport’s drinking water provider have already been informed.

Later on November 2, 2021, the airport announced via social media that passengers can buy bottled water for €0.50 ($0.57) in the duty-free area of BER.


author avatar
Emma Yates Badley
UK Editor[br][br] Emma has worked as a sub-editor for AeroTime since April 2021 and is based in Manchester, UK. Emma was previously the Deputy Editor, Literary Editor and feature writer for Northern Soul, a website focusing on culture and enterprise in the North of England. She also works as a freelance writer and has produced features for a number of other publications, both digital and print.
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