Drinking water with a level of Manganese above the MCL can be harmful for your health. Safe Home offers a couple kits that provide drinking water testing for manganese in city water and well water supplies.

Parameter Type: Drinking Water Testing for Metals

Parameter Name: Manganese

What it is and Where it Comes From:

Manganese is a chemical element with the symbol Mn and atomic number 25. Manganese occurs naturally in many surface water and groundwater sources and in soils that may erode into these waters. However, human activities are also responsible for much of the manganese contamination in water (in some areas). It is often found in minerals in combination with iron. It is a gray-white silvery, brittle metallic element. This element is reactive when pure and will burn in Oxygen as a powder. It can be found in many foods like nuts, seeds, tea, and whole grains. Infants can get manganese from breast milk and dairy or soy-based formula. Drinking water can also contain small amounts of manganese. However, too much manganese in the water supply can be toxic. When it reacts with water, it rusts. Manganese is a transition metal with a multifaceted array of industrial alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels. Drinking water testing gives you several benefits like peace of mind, identifying contaminants in your water, and insight into health concerns. Safe Home offers Laboratory drinking water testing kits for manganese, allowing you to collect your water sample and ship it directly to our EPA-Certified Laboratory. This platform of drinking water testing for manganese will give you an accurate level based on the lowest level of a parameter our instruments can detect (Method Detection Level). Safe Home drinking water testing for metals can be used for city and well water supplies. Drinking water testing should be done any time you notice a significant change in your water quality.

Health Effects:

Manganese has been known to treat painful menstruation and osteoporosis. When used as a dietary supplement, it helps reduce symptoms associated with seizures and diabetes. Drinking water with a level of manganese above the MCL can be harmful for your health but taking a bath or a shower in it is not. Manganese in your water can stain your laundry, cause scaling on your plumbing, and make your water look, smell, or taste bad. Long term ingestion of too much manganese can lead to serious side effects like shaking and mental problems like psychosis. 

Solutions to Contaminant Levels:

You have completed the drinking water testing process, what Is the next step? Iron and manganese can be effectively removed from water using a few treatment processes depending on both the form and concentration of the metals. Since iron and manganese are aesthetic problems that affect all potential uses of the water, they must be removed from all water entering the home using Point-of-Entry (POE) treatment devices. Conventional water softeners are sometimes effective for removing iron and small amounts of manganese. Water softeners are typically used to remove calcium and magnesium hardness in water by an exchange process. The calcium and magnesium are removed from the water and sodium is added in their place. Iron and manganese removal is accomplished in the same way by exchanging the iron and manganese for sodium. The iron and manganese are then removed from the softener resin bed through backwashing and regeneration. Phosphate addition is generally ineffective in treating manganese. The phosphate is fed into the water using a chemical feed pump that often requires trial and error dose adjustments. In this case, the iron is surrounded or “sequestered” by the phosphate and is not actually removed from the water. Oxidizing filters both oxidize and filter iron and manganese in one unit. The filter is usually comprised of manganese treated greensand. In the case of a manganese greensand filter, the filter media is treated with potassium permanganate to form a coating that oxidizes the dissolved iron and manganese and then filters them out of the water. Because these units combine oxidation and filtration, they can be used to treat raw water with dissolved and/or oxidized iron and manganese. Who do I need to contact to find out more information about water quality in my area? Every community water supplier must provide an annual report to its customers, known as a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR). The report provides information on your local drinking water quality, including the water’s source, contaminants found in the water, and how consumers can get involved in protecting drinking water. How often does the local public water system preform drinking water testing? Frequency of drinking water testing depends on the number of people served, the type of water source, and types of contaminants. Certain contaminants are tested more frequently than others, as established by the Safe Drinking Water Act. You can find out about levels of regulated contaminants in your treated water for the previous calendar year in your annual Consumer Confidence Report (CCR).

File Under:

Drinking Water Testing - Parameter Types


Important Terms

  • MCL’s (Maximum Contaminant Levels) MCL’s are levels that set by the USEPA and are enforceable to Public Water Utilities, requiring additional treatment, when the levels are exceeded. These same guidelines should be at least considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCL’s. If the parameter has an MCL, it’s listed.
  • MCLG’s (Maximum Contaminant Level Goals) MCLG’s are goals set by the USEPA that we should all strive for when consuming drinking water from any water supply. Concentrations of certain parameters (even below the MCL’s), are still not healthy for humans and animals to drink. These same guidelines should at least be be considered, by owners of private wells. Some states have more strict guidelines than the USEPA. Not all parameters have MCLG’s. If the parameter has an MCLG, it’s listed.
  • ACTION LEVELS ACTION LEVELS are a specified concentration of a respective parameter in drinking water, that is above a “treatment level” set by the USEPA. When these levels are exceeded, further treatment and monitoring is required by the respective utility who’s water violated this limit.Action Levels apply to parameter-rules such as but not limited to the Copper/Lead Rule.
  • PARTS PER MILLION (ppm) PPM is a scientific measurement which represents milligrams of the parameter being tested per liter of the respective liquid. Example: If Copper in your water supply is at a concentration of 1.00 mg/L, this is the same as saying the concentration is 1.00 ppm.
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