UPDATE: Pink Water Returns to St. Michael, Albertville

Residents are reporting pink water throughout different parts of St. Michael and Albertville tonight.

UPDATE (8:30 a.m., Tuesday Dec. 18): According to a statement from the St. Michael-Albertville-Hanover Joint Powers Water Board, the pink water is due to regular maintenance performed at the plant.

The statement reads:

Some "pink water" due to annual filter maintenance has been reported by some customers in our service area. While the color is temporary and harmless, home owners can let their water run for a short time until the water has cleared up. 

* * * *

Residents took to Facebook Monday night after turning on their water and seeing pink.

The path of the pink water is all over the area with homes near Cedar Creek, the Highlands development and the St. Michael/Hanover border reporting the discolored, at times even purple, water.

This is the second time in a year that residents have experienced this. many households were alarmed and concerned about a magenta colored water that took over their showers.

The culprit then was a pump that feeds postassium permanganate into the system. The pump, residents said they heard from water board members, was left on and put too much of the compound into the system.

Potassium permanganate is not toxic, and is often used as an oxidizer in water supplies. It removes the "sulfur" smell that can infiltrate into wells and can also be an effective treament for waste water.

Because this issue was noticed by residents after hours the St. Michael sewer department was contacted and gave the following statement, "Joint Powers did have a problem earlier today and tried to stop all the pink water before it went to residences however some did go out to homes. It is harmless and if needed, homeowners can run their water until it's clear which can take as little as 20 minutes in some homes, longer for others. If they are concerned about usage and billing, they can contact Joint Powers during normal business hours."

Has your home been affected by the pink water?


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Bob Loblaw December 18, 2012 at 05:20 PM
My concern is when a smililar mistake happens more than once or twice, is it a problem? Maybe not. Is this something that should be taken more seriously? Maybe not. Is it possible that a different, more harmful chemical could enter our water system by the same mistake? Maybe not.
Bob Loblaw December 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
How many PPM at the faucet? I wouldn't worry about it. This chemical is not a danger at this degree of dilution..
Dieter December 18, 2012 at 05:33 PM
The Joint Powers board has the Consumer Condfidence Report (CCR) mailed to every water user on the system every year. it is also posted on the web site. If you want to know what chemicals are being used in the treatment of your water, read it. It also tells you what the water it treated for and whether or not they are meeting EPA standards. The chemical that caused the water to turn pink/purple (Potassium Permanganate) is used to remove Iron and Manganese which are prevalent in groundwater (which is where our water comes from). Iron/Manganese will also discolor the water (reddish brown, especially when they are flushing hydrants), which is why they treat to remove it. Water Treatment facilities are heavily regulated to ensure that the water is safe to drink, they are not going to tell us it is safe if it is not. The water coming out of the Water Treatment Plant has stricter regulations than the bottled water you buy at the store and is ALOT cheaper.
JoJo December 18, 2012 at 08:03 PM
With these mistakes...makes me wonder if they actually report the overage/accidents, or just calculate what should have gone in and state it as what DID go in to the water. I've seen the report in the mail in the past, and it's pretty much a snapshot of what it looks like on testing day and what they add in as prescribed. It's not going to show this sort of mistake, that could cause a little damage/harm in a rare instance but won't show up months later when they do safety testing. I have to say thanks to Happy in St Michael for her researching that information. I too would appreciate JPWB being more honest and giving the whole story. It's not like they went out and tested water at the tap all over town, so they are just making estimates and downplaying the mistake. It reminds me of when a kid hurts his brother, and then runs to tell mom in no uncertain terms how minor the injury is without stopping to check on his brother first. What are they accidentally doing over there to mess up our water supply that we can't actually SEE at our tap? Are they accidentally leaving the fluoride running and poisoning everyone now and then? Do they forget chlorine now and then? Someone really needs to investigate. I don't want to rely on promises, I want to know that competent and attentive people are following procedure to the letter. Right now, we are witnessing a break down in that expectation.
JoJo December 18, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Actually, "THE REST OF THE STORY", my kids and I had just finished exercising/playing and were at the sink downing water in semi-darkness (Christmas lights on in the kitchen) when my husband called out "hey, check that water to see if it's pink!" We'd not have known, and would have each downed well over 10 oz of the stuff. Perhaps harmless at that amount, but with three of us having weird allergies/reactions and one being very young, I'm not happy about that exposure risk. It really made me realize how blessed we are that we don't have to visibly inspect our water, much less boil it...although twice in a few months now? Somebody's not doing something right.


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