KENNEWICK, WA – NBC Right Now first brought the news to you on our facebook page Friday morning that parts of east Kennewick had pink water. But what was it?
When Bernie Vinther woke up this morning he went to turn on the faucet and noticed something was different.
"In the morning after I'd gone to the bathroom my wife says...'Hey! The water in the toilet is pink! Are you ok?'" explained Vinther.
It is called sodium permanganate and it's not as scary as it sounds. Actually, it is just a type of salt used to break down any organics in the well system and deliver fresh clean water to your home.
"We had a shutdown at our plant last night when we restarted it," said Evelyn Lusignan from Kennewick Public affairs. "A valve didn't close and released excess of this treatment into our water and it turns it pink if there's too much."
During the unscheduled plant shutdown at the water treatment plant, the valve that releases that chemical did not close. Workers at the plant still have yet to figure out what caused an outage to shutdown the plant. Once the open valve was discovered, it was closed.
City employees went around to fire hydrants this morning and pumped out water to flush the system. There might still be some of the chemical in your faucets at home.
"Just running their faucets or flushing their toilets a few times will get the water completely clear within their home," said Lusignan.
According to an engineer from the WA Department of Health we spoke with Friday, in it's raw form consuming sodium permangante can be dangerous to your health. But, the levels that were tested Friday in Kennewick were completely safe.