Pump malfunction at a water treatment plant turns Ohio water pink
A “do not drink” order has been lifted in Coal Grove, Ohio, after pink water ran through the water system. According to WSAZ, hundreds of residents awoke to pink water in their sinks and toilets Monday, June 3.
Officials said the water was not dangerous for people, but could harm clothing when doing laundry according to WSAZ. The water was caused by a nearby water plant pump malfunction that caused “too much of a chemical to be released into the water system,” according to correspondence from the village.
Stephen Burchett, water treatment plant operator for Coal Grove, said the pump the malfunctioned overnight, dumping a large quantity of sodium permanganate into the water, which gave the water a hot pink color.
“No, once it dilutes out, it is not dangerous at all,” Burchett told WSAZ.
Burchett said the pump broke after the last check Sunday night. More than 100 lb of sodium permanganate entered the system in a short time span, which is greater than the approximately7 lb of sodium permanganate that usually is used each day.
According to WSAZ, “sodium permanganate takes the iron and manganese out of the water.” When adding iron remover to the sodium permanganate, the water turns clear.
Village officials said it tested the water and have been in contact with the U.S. EPA Tuesday.
"We are below the health risk limits of our water," village officials told WSAZ.
Resident Rhona Dillon ran a load of laundry before realizing her water was pink.
“It was too late for my church camp shirts, which they can’t be replaced,” Dillon said to WSAZ. “Hopefully, hopefully it will come out. I’m hoping.”
On Monday, June 3, officials told residents not to drink, bathe, or wash clothes until the water is clear.
The statement was posted on the village's website before 9 a.m. June 3. At the time, officials said the water is expected to be clear in three to four hours.