Residents of a Canadian town have been shocked to find bright pink water coming out of their taps. Authorities in Onoway, Alberta, said the colour was due to a faulty valve that allowed potassium permanganate to get into the water supply. The chemical is used widely in the treatment of water to remove iron and the smell of rotten eggs that can arise from other substances present in pipeline networks. Experts say it can cause skin burns as well as throat and abdominal pain if it is swallowed. However, town officials said there was never any risk to the public. The water network has been flushed out just in case. Householders said they were afraid to drink the water, fearing it contained unsafe levels of chemicals.
Could the Town have done a better job of communicating what was going on … to our community? Absolutely, without a doubt. And we do apologise for that.“
Dale Krasnow, Onoway’s mayor
Veldhuyzen Van Zanten told the Edmonton Journal newspaper: "It was weird. I just didn’t use it. "I didn’t need water to make supper. But I’m sure other people had issues. It was very, very pink.” Trevor Winfield noticed that the water in his toilet was bright pink earlier this week and filmed it filling up his sink. Onoway’s mayor, Dale Krasnow, said: “We were never advised by Alberta Environment to issue a public advisory and all indications are that there was never a public health risk. "Could the Town have done a better job of communicating what was going on … to our community? Absolutely, without a doubt. "And we do apologise for that.”