A stuck valve caused the tap water in a small Canadian town to turn pink this week.
The water started running a bright fuchsia color Monday night after a problem at the water treatment plant at Onoway, a town of 1,000 people in Alberta province.
A stuck valve that allowed an excess amount of potassium permanganate into the town’s water distribution center may have been to blame, according to Mayor Dale Krasnow.
Potassium permanganate is a common water-treatment chemical used to remove bad tastes and odors from drinking water — but too much of it can turn water pink or purple.
Experts say it can cause skin burns as well as throat and abdominal pain if it is swallowed.
Krasnow said there was no public health risk but admitted town officials could have “done a better job of communicating what was going on.”
“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,” he said.
Krasnow said the town was flushing its water distribution system and encouraged residents to run their taps until the water was clear.