Sacramento Gives All Clear On Water, But Questions Remain

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Twenty-four hours after residents complained of discolored water, the city of Sacramento gave the all clear.

The Sacramento Department of Utilities is now searching to figure out what happened.

“We’ll continue to investigate,” said director Bill Busath. “This is a mystery to us, as well as to everybody else.”

He told CBS13 calls started coming in from North Sacramento on Tuesday afternoon, saying their tap water looked purple.

“We tested for chlorine residual, we tested for metals, and all of those came out very normal,” Busath said.

The department also tested for bacteria, and that too came back clean. Now, Busath is focused on figuring out what caused the water to appear discolored. He explained that in the areas where residents complained, the water comes from a well, pumped deep underground and then pushed into the homes.

“All of that is a closed system,” he said. “There’s nothing that is open to the public where somebody could either throw something into an open pool or get into that system. It’s highly unlikely.”

Still, he said there are security cameras throughout the water system, another safety precaution the department has set in place.

And what about potassium permanganate? It’s a chemical used by some water treatment plants to remove the rotten egg smell from well water that just so happens to turn water purple.

Busath said the city doesn’t use potassium permanganate.

The department will continue to collect daily water samples, but for now, the city says residents should have no more fear about what’s coming out of the faucet.

“There are no contaminants in the water, there’s nothing unhealthy about the water, and it is safe to drink,” Busath explained.

The investigation may take several more days, and Busath said he’ll be asking the State Division of Drinking water to assist.
ring out what caused the water to appear discolored. He explained that in the areas where residents complained, the water comes from a well, pumped deep underground and then pushed into the homes.

“All of that is a closed system,” he said. “There’s nothing that is open to the public where somebody could either throw something into an open pool or get into that system. It’s highly unlikely.”

Still, he said there are security cameras throughout the water system, another safety precaution the department has set in place.

And what about potassium permanganate? It’s a chemical used by some water treatment plants to remove the rotten egg smell from well water that just so happens to turn water purple.

Busath said the city doesn’t use potassium permanganate.

The department will continue to collect daily water samples, but for now, the city says residents should have no more fear about what’s coming out of the faucet.

“There are no contaminants in the water, there’s nothing unhealthy about the water, and it is safe to drink,” Busath explained.

The investigation may take several more days, and Busath said he’ll be asking the State Division of Drinking water to assist.

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