The Canadian town of Onoway, Alberta, got a distinctly Ghostbusters-style surprise earlier this week, when the water coming out of the townsfolk’s showers and taps suddenly turned a vivid candy pink.

The pics are incredible – like something out of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:

Resident Sheila Pockett told the CBC (please imagine this in your best Canadian accent, eh):

“My hubby gets up this morning to take a shower and he goes, ‘Sheila, why is there pink water coming out of the faucet?'”

Canadian Town’s Water Supply Suddenly Pink, Unbelievably Not Related To IWD

Apparently the fuchsia water, which only lasted for four or five minutes, was not a publicity stunt to celebrate International Women’s Day. It was in fact caused by a leak of potassium permanganate, a chemical used to flush the town’s water lines. The town of Onoway issued a statement on the incident on their Facebook page:

“Yesterday, during normal line flushing and filter backwashing, a valve seems to have stuck open allowing potassium permanganate to get into the sump reservoir. The reservoir was drained, however some of the chemical still made it into the distribution system.

“While it is alarming to see pink water coming from your taps, potassium permanganate is used in normal treatment processes to help remove iron and manganese and residents were never at risk.”

The purple chemical, which turns pink when dissolved, is actually a highly useful wilderness survival tool, often used as a water purifier, antiseptic, disinfectant, and occasional fire starter (it combusts when combined with glycerin). As one website puts it: if it’s pink, it’s safe to drink.

My water is broken. Thanks town of Onoway

Posted by Trevor Winfield on Monday, 6 March 2017

Unfortunately for the locals of Onoway, no-one told them that until after the spectre of the Ghostbusters goo monster had been and gone. Onoway Mayor Dale Krasnow issued an apology on the town’s website:

We were never advised by Alberta Environment to issue a public health advisory and all indications are that there was never a public health risk. 

“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.”

At least they know the pipes are clean, I guess?

Source: Gizmodo.

Image: Twitter / @ShallimaGlobal