People in this town in Alberta, Canada were not tickled pink when they turned on their faucets earlier this week.
The town of Onoway is apologizing to its 1,000 residents after its drinking water turned pink, CBC News reports.
On the evening of March 6, complaints about the weird water started to flood the town office, and images began to bubble up on social media.
Facebook user Trevor Winfield posted a video of the pastel water on March 6. “My water is broken,” he wrote. “Thanks town of Onoway.”
“We are still assessing what exactly happened but it appears a valve may have stuck allowing the potassium permanganate to get into our sump reservoir and thereby into the Town’s water distribution system,” Onoway Mayor Dale Krasnow said on the town’s official website on Tuesday.
Krasnow added though it is shocking to see fuchsia water coming from a tap, potassium permanganate is used in normal treatment processes to help remove iron and manganese, and no one was at risk.
He apologized to alarmed residents, saying the town could have done a better job communicating what was going on.
The Water Quality Association, a trade association for the water treatment industry, backed up that claim. It told the Huffington Post that potassium permanganate improves water’s clarification and is used primarily to control taste and odors, control biological growth in treatment plants and remove iron and manganese. The group also noted that if people bathe in water containing potassium permanganate, they could see some brown staining on the skin, but it’s harmless and temporary.
By Tuesday afternoon, CTV reported that all main lines were clear, but town officials said there still may be some pink water left over. They advised residents to run their water for a few minutes until the odd hue went away.