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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Bev Dehmer December 18, 2012 at 04:19 AM
So What the Hell is going on? Come On! ]
JoJo December 18, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Not feeling very confident in our water system right now. Has there been turnover in personnel? Poor training? Forgetfulness? Terribly unprofessional!
Hiram December 18, 2012 at 04:43 AM
It was menstrual day at "Joint Power's"
Hiram December 18, 2012 at 04:45 AM
They had the office party today,,Things went on,,,Thing's we cant talk about !
Willow December 18, 2012 at 05:05 AM
My boys want to know why it can't be blue water instead. Hot pink is way not cool. :o) It does make one think though, about what would happen if we COULDN'T drink the tap water. Everybody should have a few gallons tucked away.
Happy in St. Michael December 18, 2012 at 05:08 AM
This is completely unacceptable and disgusting. The pink water is NOT safe to drink and it's awful that they're telling you otherwise. A simple search of authoritative health websites--including the Material Safety Data Sheet--shows that it can be harmful swallowed. "Appearance: dark purple solid. Danger! Strong oxidizer. Contact with other material may cause a fire. May cause kidney damage. May be harmful if swallowed. May cause severe respiratory tract irritation with possible burns. May cause severe digestive tract irritation with possible burns. Causes severe eye and skin irritation with possible burns. Reproductively active. Target Organs: Blood, kidneys, central nervous system, liver, lungs, respiratory system, eyes, skin." Yeah, it doesn't sound "safe" to me. We pay for safe drinking water. What is the JPWB doing to stop this from happening again?!
Hiram December 18, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Forget about it and drink Dos-XX
THE REST OF THE STORY December 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Happy, all of those are if you drink it straight out of the container that is comes in. Seriously, get a clue and stop trying to put fright into everyone!! Who would want to fill up a glass of pink water and drink it anyway?
Bob Loblaw December 18, 2012 at 02:37 PM
I really like the "Oops, lol." approach the Joint Powers is taking. I get that this is most likely a harmless chemical at the levels that we are being exposed, but it really does make you wonder what other chemicals are being accidenatally pumped into our water system...
Mike Schoemer (Editor) December 18, 2012 at 03:14 PM
The JPW releases an annual report with just that information, Mr. Loblaw. It can be found here: http://www.jointwaterboard.com/report/report.htm
Private Citizen December 18, 2012 at 03:52 PM
If you're not trained to decipher a MSDS, please don't comment like you did. Oh, it's your right too, but should you if you don't know what your talking about. I agree with The Rest of the Story...get a clue, common sense or move on to another conspiracy theory.
Laura Nielsen December 18, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Nearly every year, when I was little, the water would be brown for a little while (must have been a similar maintenance issue). I wonder if that particular chemical was to blame then? It looked like rusty water to me, back then. Maybe they changed the color of the chemical for identification should it "leak" or become more concentrated? What I'm saying is that we have very safe water, a good maintenance system, good people running the system who do a good job, and safe, tasty water (lived here nearly all my life) that doesn't taste like the well water (rotten eggs) and doesn't make us sick...even though we've had weird colors over the years on occasion. I drink straight from the tap (most people don't). Some people complain that the water tastes like chlorine...maybe I'm not as discerning because I'd rather the water taste a little bit chlorine than cholera? Maybe someone from JP could explain the periodic discoloration in more detail and with graphics? I think it would be beneficial for the public to see what happens with the water treatment and educational for the kids, too. :)
Private Citizen December 18, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Well said. They give tours, instead of jumping to conclusions let's educate ourselves.
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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