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Manganese in Drinking Water

Manganese in Drinking Water

It is a familiar scene this time of year as children are welcomed back to school. As lead in water concerns still loom, there may be another concern…manganese. According to a Canadian study, manganese may cause neurological effects in children. Read the full document


Canada Sets New Guideline

Manganese is natural in the environment, it’s in food, consumer products, air, and drinking water and it is essential to human health. However, we are learning that too much manganese may cause neurological effects in children. Canada has set two new guidelines for manganese – maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for total manganese in drinking water at 0.12 mg/L (120 µg/L) and an aesthetic objective (AO) for total manganese in drinking water at 0.02 mg/L (20 µg/L). Private well owners in Canada should use these levels as guidelines to treat their well water.

U.S. Recommended Levels 

The U.S. EPA has a non-regulatory health advisory for manganese of 0.3 mg/L and established a secondary maximum contaminant level of 0.05 mg/L based upon aesthetic effects. These levels are established for public water systems in the U.S. Well owners should use these levels as guidelines or consider using Canada’s guidelines to treat their well water. 

Testing & Treatment

Well owners are encouraged to test their well water for manganese and monitor levels annually if detected. See our water testing information below. Currently, there are no approved water treatment systems for manganese. Water Quality Association, Health Canada, the Standards Council or Canada (SCC), and NSF International are working together to certify water treatment for manganese removal. We will provide updates as more information becomes available. In the meantime, there are water treatment devices that can help reduce manganese in drinking water. If your water test shows manganese at or above the recommended levels, contact a certified water treatment specialist in your area to help select the best water treatment for your home and water system.

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