When Captain Catharina Bergsell poured herself her morning coffee at the Blekinge Air Force base in southern Sweden, she would often muse that it was a little on the murky side, but just put it down to the usual questionable quality of vending machine beverages.
It wasn’t until a new heating system was installed that the truth was finally revealed: about a dozen employees at the base had been drinking coffee made with radiator water after a central heating pipe had been wrongly connected to the drinks dispenser.
“As the coffee is black and the radiator water is a bit brown, then we haven’t noticed the difference,” Captain Bergsell, an information officer at the F17 squadron, was quoted as saying on Swedish news website The Local.
“When you drink coffee from a vending machine it always tastes a little different than fresh coffee and it may not have the best consistency,” she added.
The Air Force employees showed no obvious side-effects of their two-year diet of radiator water. “No one had a clue about this until the water was turned off,” Captain Bergsell added. “Had that not happened, I reckon it would not have been noticed until there had been a change of supplier.”