Potassium permanganate is a chemical solution that is regularly used to treat and remove bacteria, dissolved iron minerals, toxic compounds, manganese, the smell of chlorine and also, hydrogen sulphide, which can cause your tap water to smell like rotten eggs. If used in high quantities, it can turn your tap water a bright pink or even a deep purple colour.
- After chlorine, potassium permanganate is the most common water cleaning chemical.
- It is a versatile chemical, used to treat skin conditions such as eczema and athlete's foot.
- It can cause stains on the hands, body, clothes and fixtures.
- Its chemical formula is KMnO4 and is also known as Condy's crystals.
Why does my drinking water contain potassium permanganate?
The addition of potassium permanganate is one of the first steps carried out during the treatment process and is eventually removed through filtration and disinfection. Irregular quantities or mechanical failures can cause an excess amount being released during treatment, turning your water bright pink and sometimes, a deep purple. Despite the water systems working to remove the permanganate by flushing the distribution system, pink water can still reach your tap.
What should I do if I discover potassium permanganate in my water?
Should you discover potassium permanganate in your tap water, follow the following steps to quickly remedy the situation:
- Run the cold tap water closest to your main supply - this is usually in the kitchen.
- Run the other taps in your home - are they also running pink?
- As your neighbours - The problem may not be isolated to your residence and could be affecting surrounding homes.
- Contact a certified plumber or your water supplier to further investigate the issue - Keep an eye out for further information and advice on your water supplier's website and social media platforms.
How can I remove any potassium permanganate stains?
Although any stains left by diluted potassium permanganate are not long-term, the chemical can irritate sensitive skin. Should you come in contact with a diluted form of potassium pomegranate, immediately wash the exposed skin for a minimum of fifteen minutes.
Any exposure to a concentrated form of potassium permanganate can irritate the skin and you must visit a doctor or the emergency room if you feel any form of burns, pain, swelling or redness to skin.