When you hire someone like Capital Plumbing & Heating to work on your bathroom, you expect nothing but the best. The tiles are arranged with the utmost precision, the mirror’s placed properly, etc. etc. They did their jobs perfectly. The tap goes on for your new bathroom. The water flows.
But it’s neon pink.
This is exactly what happened in the Alberta, Canada town of Onoway, about 60 kilometers to the northwest of the Alberta capital of Edmonton. Residents in the small town were shocked to see neon pink water flowing from their taps when they turned them on.
An Onoway resident by the name of Vicki Veldhuyzen Van Zanten was shocked when her neighbor called her in the phone inquiring about her water; asking if it was pink. Mrs. Van Zanten answered no, only for that to change a few days later after her daughter called to her regarding the water coming out of their taps, which was purple at the time, only to turn neon pink at a later time. Mrs. Van Zanten posted on the town’s Facebook page, and discovered many other residents experiencing the same problem.
The town mayor, Dale Krasnow, stated that the issue started during one of the town’s routine filter washes at the local water treatment plant. The treatment plant, as it turns out, utilizes potassium permanganate, an inorganic chemical compound commonly found in medications, in the cleaning process. The substance, when applied in large enough quantities, tints water with a bright pink hue.
Mayor Krasnow states that there might have been some mechanical failure somewhere during the process, resulting in the compound making its way into the water. The town has now undertaking steps to flush out the contaminated water, with efforts starting last Tuesday.
Thankfully, there have been no reports of hospitalizations, and potassium permanganate is a water soluble compound, meaning that residents of Onoway are safe, if a bit distressed.
Mayor Krasnow states his relief after the fact, but believes that the town could’ve communicated better regarding the matter. He states that he sees the incident as a chance to work on a strategy for similar situations in the future.
If something like this happens, inform your local government as soon as possible. It wouldn’t hurt to call local plumbers, such as Capital Plumbing & Heating, to ensure the status of the plumbing in your house.