A portion of the Sacramento area's water has been reportedly possibly contaminated due to an unknown substance and an estimated 600 to 1,000 people are in the warning zone.

Officials say the substance’s effect has reportedly turned the water into a purple color and it was a resident who reported the discovery of the purple water late Tuesday,

So, what does this actually mean for those people in the warning zone?

ABC10 talked with Ellen Martin, Interim Public Information Consultant, Dept. of Utilities, City of Sacramento, who answered five questions that you may have about the issue:

1. How were people notified?

  • Fliers were distributed (left at doors) between 10:30-11 p.m. on Tuesday night.
  • Crews on Wednesday morning were talking to residents/businesses, making sure people were aware.
  • Information was also put up on the city website, Facebook and Next Door.
  • There is a city alert system but not enough people in that area were enrolled.

2. What prompts an emergency warning?

  • This was a not an emergency warning, it was a DO NOT DRINK notice.
  • Officials are just taking precaution.

3. What should people do if they drank the water and when were the last reports?

  • It's hard to say at this point in time because the cause is unknown.
  • Officials are not getting more reports of discolored water and they aren’t seeing it in hydrants.
  • The last report of it was around 10 p.m. Tuesday night and only around 5-6 reports total in that same area.
  • For those residents, color did go away once they continued running the water.
  • Final tests of water samples collected will come back around 4:30 p.m.

4. How did the substance get into the water?

  • Officials are currently investigating and it's unlikely that it will be known Wednesday.

5. What goes into our water?

  • Chlorine, alum, fluoride, lime, a polymer called Clarifloc N3300P and caustic sodium hydroxide.