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Residents ‘on edge’ over this pink, purple water

Posted at 8:10 PM, Apr 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-01 06:52:08-04

RUTHER GLEN, Va. -- Caroline County leaders are apologizing for not alerting the public after a snafu caused some residents' water to turn bizarre shades of pink and purple Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Michael Jenkins, who called CBS 6 News, said he first made the shocking find when he filled a glass of water from the tap Wednesday night. Jenkins quickly discovered that the water in his toilet was also oddly colored.

"What exactly did I drink? Is it poisoning? Am I going to have to go to the hospital?" Jenkins said.

Jenkins said he was concerned that the county did not alert residents.

"That's when I contacted you guys because I said, 'Something's up -- and you guys can get to the bottom of it," Jenkins explained.



County leaders confirmed that there was an issue with the water supply on Wednesday night into Thursday morning. However, officials maintained that the water, which looked like Kool-Aid, was never a public health threat and was always safe to drink.

While the county administrator declined an on camera interview, a representative admitted that too much of a chemical used in oxidizing iron was added to the water supply.

The colored water impacted people and businesses in the Ruther Glen area off of Interstate 95 including hotels like the Econo Lodge.

Workers at area businesses, like FurGet Me Knots pet grooming, said they would keep a close eye on the situation.

Dawn Draper only washed one pup after she checked the water.

"I'd  just worry it would leave a stain on the dogs," Draper said.

Lawrence Russell said he will be watching the water too. He said that while the water may look like Cheer, he just wants it to stay clear.

"Looks like it's ok right now," Russell said. "As long as it doesn't make my skin peel off, it will be alright.”

County officials, said they are working on flushing the chemical through the system and that they are taking steps to prevent this from happening in the future.

Leaders also acknowledged that they should have alerted the public, so that people like Michael Jenkins were not left wondering if their water was safe.

Michael Jenkins

Michael Jenkins