Bright pink water flowed through Canadian town's taps prompting complaints from residents and forcing the mayor to issue and apology.
Caused by Potassium permanganate, a chemical used in the standard water treatment process, there was no significant health risk to the residents of Onoway, Alberta.
But Mayor Dale Krasnow said in a statement that the town "could have done a better job communicating what was going on."
Though water took on a startling pink hue on Monday, townspeople were not informed of the cause until the following morning.
Say What? Imagine turning on your tap & seeing this! Shocking pink water in Onoway. Residents have questions - tune in for the answer. pic.twitter.com/XdscwUzVaT— Gord Steinke (@GordSteinke) March 7, 2017
Potassium permanganate is used worldwide to remove iron and hydrogen sulfide from water supplies. Hydrogen sulfide is corrosive and highly poisonous, and has a distinctive, foul odour of rotten eggs.
Potassium permanganate is relatively benign, although large quantities can cause skin irritation.
However, there are no reports of any adverse medical effects in Onoway. The small town has a population of around 1000, and is located 40 miles northwest of the city Edmonton.
Mayor Krasnow suggested the problem was caused by a faulty valve, "stuck allowing the potassium permanganate to get into our sump reservoir and thereby into the Town’s water distribution system."
He said: "Immediately and throughout this entire process our staff have been in contact with Alberta Environment, and today our discussions have included Alberta Health Services.
"We were never advised by Alberta Environment to issue a public advisory and all indications are that there was never a public health risk."
Townspeople were asked to keep all their taps running until water turned clear, flushing out the chemical agent from the system.
In pictures: Flint water crisis
In pictures: Flint water crisis
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Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant William Phillips (L) assists a Flint resident with bottled water at a fire station in Flint
Flint residents Arthur Woodson, left, and Tony Palladino Jr. protest the arrival of Flint native and filmmaker Michael Moore as Moore accuses Gov.Rick Snyder of poisoning Flint water during a rally outside of city hall in Flint
Flint residents pick up bottled water and water filters at a fire station in Flint. Michigan National Guard members were set to arrive in Flint to join door-to-door efforts to distribute bottled water and other supplies to residents coping with the city's crisis over lead-contaminated drinking water
Soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard Flint prepare to give Flint residents bottled water at a fire station in Flint
Justin Roberson (L), age 6, of Flint, Michigan and Mychal Adams, age 1, of Flint wait on a stack of bottled water at a rally where the Rev. Jesse Jackson was speaking about about the water crises at the Heavenly Host Baptist Church in Flint
A man sits next to a stack of bottled water at the Heavenly Host Baptist Church in Flint
2016 Getty Images
The top of a water tower is seen at the Flint Water Plant. President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Michigan and ordered federal aid to be used to help state and local response efforts to an area affected by contaminated water
Rosie Wright, center, rallies with the crowd over Flint's water crisis in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Rick Catherman participates in a rally around Flint's water crisis in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Though he emphasised there was no cause for alarm, Mayor Krasnow apologised for the way the situation was handled.
He said: "Could the Town have done a better job of communicating what was going on yesterday to our community – absolutely, without a doubt. And we do apologize for that.
"This is a situation we can certainly learn from and develop a strategy for better response and communication should we ever face the same or similar situation in the future."