Jet fuel, or aviation turbine fuel, is very hydrophilic and must be stored and transported with great attention to limiting exposure and mismanagement. The cleanliness and dryness of jet fuel is critical to the safety of aircraft and flight personnel. Water in the fuel is one of the main factors causing contamination, since it facilitates the growth of microorganisms and the corrosion of some metals. Removal of free water and emulsification from the jet fuel is critical to preserving and repairing fuel integrity and quality.

Contaminated fuel can cause significant damage to the aircraft and engine, such as internal tank corrosion, clogging of fuel filtration components and much more. Sometimes it may result in such severe consequences as stopping the fuel supply to the engines during flight. Therefore, all types of contaminants must be separated out of fuel before it is pumped into the aircraft.

Other forms of jet fuel contamination include particulate, and microbial growth. Microbial contamination, usually encouraged by the presence of water, poses a grave danger to the aircraft due to microbes' ability to propagate rapidly and raise acidity levels and cause sludge, slime formation, and corrosion of tanks and lines. Bacteria enter fuel system by the way of air, water and other means. The presence of free and emulsified water in jet fuel is extremely costly and dangerous, as contaminated fuel will damage individual components within the fuel system.