Manganese and Drinking Water Don’t Mix

Mn On Periodic Table
Map of the US showing Manganese widely distributed in the northwest, midwest, and northeastern parts of the country.

Manganese is a naturally occurring element frequently found in drinking water. The EPA reports that manganese can be detected in about 70% of groundwater sites and 97% of surface water sites in the US. There is currently no federally enforced regulation for Manganese in drinking water. Because of the aesthetic problems caused by manganese, the EPA has recommended a Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level (SMCL) of 0.05 mg/L.

Consequences of Manganese in Drinking Water

  • Unpleasant taste and color
    • Consumers may complain of dark water with a metallic taste that can stain surfaces
  • Costly problems to water distribution systems
    • The buildup of manganese and associated biofilms in pipes and tanks require maintenance or replacement
  • Human health risks
    • Manganese is an essential mineral for humans, but overexposure can be harmful to the nervous system

Treatment Considerations

It is worthwhile to consider manganese treatment in order to improve aesthetics, ensure consumer health, and to maintain operating efficiency for water distributors. Traditionally, manganese removal from drinking water has been done by oxidation and precipitation followed by filtration. Oxidizing agents like potassium permanganate, chlorine, or ozone usually require substantial contact time (30-90 minutes) to oxidize manganese prior to media filtration. This method requires a contact basin which adds significantly to the capital cost of the treatment project as well as substantially increasing the physical space under-roof required for the project.

A Better Way

OxiPlus75 media in a beaker

WaterSurplus offers an alternative to the traditional treatment method, our innovative catalytic media filtration systems featuring OxiPlus75. OxiPlus75 is our proprietary NSF/ANSI 61 certified catalytic filter media. OxiPlus75 efficiently removes manganese, iron, arsenic, radium, and hydrogen sulfide at a considerably higher treatment rate than other media. Plus, our media reduces the necessary contact time to 10-30 seconds, eliminating the need for a contact basin entirely. Our pre-engineered filtration systems are designed for the rigors of the industrial and municipal markets. The skid-mounted pressure vessels are pre-piped and pre-wired for economical installation. They include a three-way valve on each vessel, eliminating the need for a dedicated backwash pump.

Review project profiles on some of our manganese removal projects:

Contact our experienced staff to learn more or schedule a pilot test.

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