I don't know, maybe I'm a stickler about these things, but this seems not so safe.
Residents of Coal Grove, OH, woke up to find that the water coming out of their faucets was a very distinctive color of purple.
Officials told the residents was caused by a pump malfunction and an excess amount of sodium permanganate dumped into the water. Sodium permanganate is used to remove iron and manganese from water supply; by oxidizing it, they turn them into larger particles that can be filtered out. An officer from the water treatment plant claimed that it isn't dangerous, though they cautioned residents not to drink or bathe in the water until it was clear. That seems a little contradictory; if it's not dangerous, why the caution? Common sense should argue that ingesting purple water would not be safe.
And while you'd expect that it might dye your laundry a lovely shade of Pepto Bismol pink, at least one resident found her clothing brown from the iron in the water. The water district is supplying customers with iron removers upon request.
Water treatment representatives reportedly flushed the system this week several times and that if the residents just run their water, it should allow clear water to replace the pink stuff in the pipes.
**UPDATE: This incident occurred in the state of Ohio, not West Virginia, as originally reported by several agencies. A representative of the state of West Virginia contacted me to set the record straight. Our apologies for the error.