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City Finds Metal Deposit Cause Of North Sacramento Water Contamination Scare


UPDATE Oct. 24, 3:48 p.m.: Sacramento's Department of Utilities says the cause of the purple-tinged water was a higher concentration of manganese, a metal that can occur naturally in ground water. According to the department, it deposited in the pipes over years and then somehow got dislodged.

There are no known health impacts, even at the higher levels found in the water last week, officials said. The pipes were flushed and manganese levels have returned to normal, and they will continue to monitor the area as needed, the city said.

UPDATE 6:44 p.m.: The City of Sacramento says it will continue to take and test neighborhood water samples following an incident of contamination.

Residents of a North Sacramento neighborhood reported water that was a purplish-color on Monday afternoon.

The City told people not to drink or cook with it until testing was done to show it was safe again.

Those tests came back Wednesday night, and residents now have the all clear.

Pravani Vandeyar is the water quality superintendent for the city. She says they're still working to figure out what happened, but it will be hard to determine the contaminant.

"We do not have a sample of the purple water and that's part of the issue with this incident," Vandeyar says."We have samples after flushing was done in that area."

Vandeyar says some chemicals used to treat water can turn it purple, but they aren't chemicals used by Sacramento.

The city says, if residents return to the area after being away, they may still see discolored water - and are asked to flush their faucets throughout the home until the color dissipates.
- Randol White

Sacramento's Department of Utilities has issued a "Do Not Drink" notice to people in a small section of north Sacramenpto. The area is south of Main Avenue, west of Norwood Avenue, east of Pell Drive and north of I-80.

The notice comes in response to reports of discolored (purple) tap water. Bottled water is being provided to schools in the area. The department says it's investigating whether there are any health risks and expects to know more this afternoon. 

The area is south of Main Avenue, West of Norwood Avenue, east of Pell Drive and north of I-80.

- Sally Schilling

Sally Schilling

Reporter/Podcast Producer

Sally Schilling is a Davis native and a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She has reported on redwood poachers robbing national forests in Humboldt County and the dangers of melting tropical glaciers in the Peruvian Andes.  Read Full Bio 

Randol White

All Things Considered Anchor/Reporter

Randol White is an award-winning, accomplished, and well-rounded broadcast journalist with more than two decades of radio, television, web and print experience.  Read Full Bio 

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