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Pink tap water: colourful monday for residents of a Canadian town

Residents of a small Canadian town were left puzzled this week when their tap water started running an "alarming" bright pink.

The water started running a bright fuchsia colour on 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 centre may have been to blame, according to a statement from Mayor Dale Krasnow.

Potassium permanganate is a common water-treatment chemical used to remove bad tastes and odours from drinking water — but too much of it can turn water pink or purple.

Mr 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.

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