Bright pink tap water baffles Canadian town

By Daniel Uria  |  March 8, 2017 at 10:43 AM
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March 8 (UPI) -- Residents in a small Canadian town were baffled when bright pink tap water began to emerge from their faucets.

Many concerned citizens in the town of Onoway in Alberta contacted town officials and shared photos and video of the fluorescent liquid flowing from their taps.

"They assured me that everything was very good. It was healthy, it was fine. It wasn't going to turn me into Spider-Man, which maybe some days I would like to be," Lisa Schulte said after calling the town office. "I was OK with it."

Other residents, such as Vicki Veldheyzen Van Zanten, took a more cautious approach and refused to use the water until it returned to its normal color.

"I'm not going to drink this. I'm not going to cook with it," she said. "I'm not going to risk it."

Several hours after the reports of the bright pink tap water began to emerge, the town made a public statement providing an explanation for the strange color.

"Yesterday, during normal line flushing and filter backwashing, a valve seems to have stuck open allowing potassium permanganate to get into the sump reservoir," the town said in a statement. "The reservoir was drained, however some of the chemical still made it into the distribution system."

The mayor said the town was not aware of the issue until 9 p.m. on Monday and apologized for the confusion while assuring the discolored water was not harmful in any way.

"The Town of Onoway sincerely apologizes for any alarm this may have caused. We assure you our water is safe and Public Works is doing everything they can to abate the situation as quickly as possible," the town said. "While it is alarming to see pink water coming from your taps, potassium permanganate is used in normal treatment processes to help remove iron and manganese and residents were never at risk."

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