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e-CFR data is current as of March 1, 2021

Title 46Chapter ISubchapter QPart 160 → Subpart 160.026

Title 46: Shipping

Subpart 160.026—Water, Emergency Drinking (In Hermetically Sealed Containers), for Merchant Vessels

§160.026-1   Applicable specifications and standard.
§160.026-2   Type.
§160.026-3   Container.
§160.026-4   Water.
§160.026-5   Marking.
§160.026-6   Sampling, inspection, and tests of production lots.
§160.026-7   Procedure for approval.

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§160.026-1   Applicable specifications and standard.

(a) General. The following specifications and standard, of the issue in effect on the date emergency drinking water is packed, form a part of this subpart:

(1) Military specifications:

MIL-L-7178—Lacquer; cellulose nitrate, gloss for aircraft use.

MIL-E-15090—Enamel, equipment, light-gray (Formula No. 111).

MIL-W-15117—Water, drinking, canned, emergency.

(2) U.S. Public Health Service:

Drinking Water Standards (Publication No. 956).

(b) Copies on file. Copies of the specifications referred to in this section shall be kept on file by the packer, together with the approved plans and certificate of approval issued by the Coast Guard. The military specifications may be obtained from the Military Specifications and Standards, Standardization Documents Order Desk, Building 4D, 700 Robbins Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111-5094, https://assist.daps.dla.mil/quicksearch/. The “Drinking Water Standards” may be obtained from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Washington, DC, 20201.

[CGFR 65-9, 30 FR 11466, Sept. 8, 1965, as amended by CGD 84-064, 49 FR 34004, Aug. 28, 1984; USCG-2013-0671, 78 FR 60156, Sept. 30, 2013]

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§160.026-2   Type.

(a) Emergency drinking water for lifeboats and life rafts and its hermetically sealed container shall be as specified herein, but alternate containers will be given special consideration.

(b) [Reserved]

[CGFR 53-25, 18 FR 7865, Dec. 5, 1953]

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§160.026-3   Container.

(a) General. The emergency drinking water container shall be a sanitary type can, approximately 21116 in diameter by 478 in height. The top and bottom of the can shall be double-seamed and compound-lined. The side seam shall be of a locked type, soldered on the outside. The can shall be made of 1.25-pound coating coke tin-plate throughout, with not less than 100-pound plate for the body and 85-pound plate for the ends.

(b) Interior and exterior coatings. The interior of the container shall be uncoated, except for the tin-plating required by paragraph (a) of this section. In addition to the tin-plating, the exterior surfaces of the container, including the ends, but excluding the side seam, shall be lithographed a gray enamel conforming to Type I or II, Class 2 of Specification MIL-E-15090, with the marking as provided by §160.026-5 lithographed in black print. After filling, sealing, autoclaving, and marking, the container shall be dip-coated with one coat of clear base lacquer conforming to Specification MIL-L-7178.

(c) Plant sanitation, sterilizing and filling. The plant and equipment in which the water is canned shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times, and standard aseptic procedures shall be followed throughout in filling the cans. The container shall be free from all foreign materials, and shall be filled with approximately 1023 oz. of water meeting the requirements of §160.026-4. After filling, it shall be hermetically sealed under vacuum, and after sealing, it shall be autoclaved at a temperature of not less than 250 °F. for not less than 15 minutes.

[CGFR 53-25, 18 FR 7865, Dec. 5, 1953]

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§160.026-4   Water.

(a) Only water meeting the U.S. Public Health Service “Drinking Water Standards” which has been suitably inhibited to protect the container against corrosion shall be used. After treatment and packing the water shall be free from organic matter, sediment and odor. It shall have a pH between 7.0 and 9.0 as determined by means of a standard pH meter using glass electrodes.

(b) [Reserved]

[CGFR 65-9, 30 FR 11466, Sept. 8, 1965]

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§160.026-5   Marking.

(a) General. The month and year of packing and the lot number shall be embossed on the top of the container. The container shall also be lithographed on one side in accordance with §160.026-3(b) with the following:

“U. S. Coast Guard

Approval No. __”

(Not less than 322 in height)


Approx. 1023 oz.”

(Not less than 332 in height)




(Not less than 23 in height)

(Name and address of packer)

(Not less than 18 in height)

(b) Other marking. In addition to any other marking placed on the smallest packing carton or box in which emergency drinking water containers are placed prior to shipment, each carton or box shall be plainly and permanently marked with the name and address of the packer, the month and year of packing, and the lot number.

[CGFR 53-25, 18 FR 7865, Dec. 5, 1953]

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§160.026-6   Sampling, inspection, and tests of production lots.

(a) General. Containers of emergency drinking water must be tested in accordance with the provisions of this section by an independent laboratory accepted by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR 159.010.

(b) Lots. For purposes of sampling the production of approved emergency drinking water for lifeboats and life rafts, a lot shall consist of all cans of water to be offered for inspection at one time. Lots shall be numbered serially by the packer, and a new lot shall be started with any change or modification in materials or production methods.

(c) Visual inspection of containers. The independent laboratory inspector shall select at random from each lot the number of sample filled containers indicated in table 160.026-6(c), which shall be examined visually for compliance with the requirements of this subpart. If the number of defective cans exceeds the acceptance number shown in the table for the samples selected, the lot shall be rejected.

Table 160.026-6(c)—Sampling for Visual Inspection of Containers

Lot sizeNo. of cans in sampleAcceptance number
800 and under350
801 to 1,300501
1,301 to 3,200752
3,201 to 8,0001103
8,001 and over1504

(d) Laboratory tests of containers and water. The manufacturer shall select at random from each lot the number of sets of 11 filled sample containers indicated in Table 160.026-6(d1), which shall be forwarded to an independent laboratory accepted by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR 159.010. The independent laboratory shall perform the tests outlined in Table 160.026-6(d2). If any sample is found to be non-conforming in any of these tests, the lot shall be rejected.

Table 160.026-6(d1)—Sampling for Laboratory Tests

Lot sizeNumber of sets of samples to be selected
3,200 and under1 set of 11 containers each.
3,201 and over2 sets of 11 containers each.

Table 160.026-6(d)(2)—Description of Laboratory Tests

Number of containers per set of samples to be testedType of testReference specification for test procedure to be followed
2Internal corrosion and vacuumMIL-W-15117.
9Bacteriological limits and salt contentMIL-W-15117 and U.S. Public Health “Drinking Water Standards.”

(e) Lot acceptance. When the independent laboratory is satisfied that the emergency drinking water meets the requirements of this subpart, the lot shall be accepted. When permitted by the independent laboratory, rejected lots may be resubmitted for official inspection, provided all containers in the lot have been reworked by the packer, and all defective units removed. Emergency drinking water from rejected lots may not, unless subsequently accepted, be sold or offered for sale under representation as being in compliance with this subpart or as being approved for use on merchant vessels.

[CGFR 53-25, 18 FR 7865, Dec. 5, 1953, as amended by CGFR 65-9, 30 FR 11466, Sept. 8, 1965; CGD 75-186, 41 FR 10437, Mar. 11, 1976; CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51211, Sept. 30, 1997]

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§160.026-7   Procedure for approval.

(a) General. Emergency drinking water for lifeboats and liferafts on merchant vessels is approved only by the Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard.

(b) Pre-approval samples and plans. Packers who desire to pack approved emergency drinking water shall have the required tests in accordance with §160.026-5 performed by an independent laboratory accepted by the Coast Guard under 46 CFR 159.010. A copy of the independent laboratory's report will be forwarded to the Commandant for examination, and, if satisfactory, an official approval number will be assigned to the manufacturer for the emergency drinking water.

[CGD 95-028, 62 FR 51211, Sept. 30, 1997]

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