On Monday residents of Onoway, Alberta complained to the town office when the water from their taps was running pink. In a statement the Mayor Dale Crasnow said there was no public health risk, but better communication could have been helpful.
The Mayor said the pink water is a normal side effect of a common water treatment chemical..potassium permanganate. Commonly used to remove iron and hydrogen sulphide from water, it got into the town’s reservoir when a valve malfunctioned during normal line flushing and filter back washing
The reservoir was drained, but some of the chemical managed to make it into the distribution system. The chemical can cause skin irritation, but there were no reports of this effect.
The townspeople were a bit miffed about not being informed in a timely manner. I can imagine that this valve malfunction was quite possibly caused by human error. Someone is embarrassed, but no harm done.