The Water Division of the Public Works Department would like to report that several locations in town experienced some “Pink Water” over the weekend starting on Friday, March 20, 2009. This was due to elevated levels of Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4) introduced into the Town’s water. The elevated levels were cause by a malfunction of a feeder pump at our Water Treatment Facility. The pump has since been repaired and is now operating normally.
Potassium Permanganate is a product commonly used in the industry of water treatment. We inject it into our water treatment process both as a disinfectant and to control taste and odor in the Town’s water. While in its solid crystalline form it is an eye and skin irritant; in its diluted liquid form and at the levels it is used for water treatment, it is harmless.
Town staff will be going out to areas in Town that show the “Pink” color in the water, which is a telltale sign of elevated levels of Potassium Permanganate, and flush it out of the system. Based on our research on the uses of Potassium Permanganate in water treatment, we would like to assure our customers that Potassium Permanganate at the levels inadvertently added into our water, should not cause health concerns. We are also collecting samples and will bring them to an independent laboratory to verify our beliefs, and will report back should the testing prove differently.