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The Drinking Water In This Town Turned Bright Pink And It Was Weird

Freaky, but apparently safe.

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The tap water in a small Alberta town turned bright pink this week after a problem at the water treatment plant.

Residents of Onoway, a town of 1,000 located an hour west of Edmonton, noticed the colour change on Monday evening.
Erin Lacey / Facebook

Residents of Onoway, a town of 1,000 located an hour west of Edmonton, noticed the colour change on Monday evening.

It was pretty freaky.

Erin Lacey / Facebook / Via facebook.com

"My water is broken," this Facebook user said. "Thanks town of Onoway."

Facebook: video.php

The mayor apologized for the pink water on Tuesday, saying the town could have done a better job communicating with alarmed residents.

Onoway, Alta. apologizes to residents for "alarming" pink water coming out of their taps: https://t.co/CObcm8KzYl

"We are still assessing what exactly happened but it appears a valve may have stuck allowing the potassium permanganate to get into our sump reservoir and thereby into the Town’s water distribution system," Onoway Mayor Dale Krasnow said on the town's official website.

Potassium permanganate is widely used to remove bad taste and odours from drinking water. Too much of the chemical, however, can turn the water pink or purple.

According to Krasnow, "there was never a public health risk" and the town flushed its water distribution system to deal with the problem.

Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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