Manganese, along with iron and the main hard water minerals magnesium and calcium are commonly found in Ipswich water. To access our article published in Water Technology Magazine, see the link at http://h2ocare.com/publications/ and then click on the article titled, “Manganese, The Good For You, Bad For You Mineral”.
WHAT IS MANGANESE?
It is a mineral that, in very small amounts, is essential for proper functioning of the human body. It is a trace mineral present in the human body in small quantities, primarily in the bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas. Manganese is important in connective tissues, in the formation of bones and blood-clotting factors. It is also involved in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption and blood sugar regulation. In addition, manganese is important for brain and nerve function.
There are two forms of manganese in the environment: Inorganic and organic compounds. Inorganic manganese compounds are used in the production of steel, batteries, ceramics and dietary supplements. These compounds are also generated as combustion products from motor vehicles and coal-burning industrial plants. Organic manganese compounds are used in some pesticides, fertilizers and in a gasoline additive called Methylcyclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl (MMT). Manganese compounds can be present as dust particles in the air and dissolved in groundwater or drinking water
Manganese toxicity potential
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), manganese at very high levels can pose a neurotoxic risk. Exposure to high concentrations over the course of several years has been associated with toxicity to the nervous system, producing a syndrome that resembles Parkinsonism. This type of effect may be more likely to occur in the elderly.
Higher risks for children
Children are considered to be particularly susceptible to possible effects of high levels of manganese exposure because they absorb more and excrete less manganese than adults. This adds up to a greater potential for exposure in the very young. Since manganese’s effects on the developing nervous system have not been adequately studied, it is especially prudent for pregnant women and young children to have drinking water that is below the EPA action level.
ATSDR reports several studies that showed decreased ability in neurobehavioral performance testing and in several educational parameters in children exposed to high level of manganese in drinking water and diet for several years.
OTHER AFFECTS OF MANGANESE, IRON, AND HARD WATER ON YOUR HOME
Some of the affects of these contaminants include corrosion and scaling inside pipes, major staining throughout the home’s showers, bathtubs, and sinks and destruction of hot water heaters way ahead of their useful life. Without water softening, hard water scale can also build-up inside hot water heaters insulating the temperature sensor inside the tank causing them to work much harder to bring the temperature up to the set level. This will reduce the useful life of your hot water heater and require early replacement. Hydrogen Sulfide is evidenced typically by a rotten egg smell in your water. This may also be caused by high Manganese levels in the water as well. This problem is easily correctable with a water filtration system design specifically for this purpose. For those using their well water for outside lawn irrigation, iron and manganese can cause major staining of outside walkways, house siding and anyplace the water touches. See the link at http://h2ocare.com/lawn-irrigation/
WHAT WILL A WATER SOFTENER REMOVE?
A water softener is effective in removing dissolved forms of manganese, iron and hardness minerals. To remove particulate iron or manganese, a cartridge filter with proper micron rating will be effective. Depending on the specific situation, this could require a series of filters with different size micron ratings to handle heavier levels in the water. Selecting the appropriate micron rating and style of filter can be determined by a water treatment professional based on water test results and other symptoms. For more information on common contaminants in New England water, see our published articles in Water Technology Magazine at the following link: http://h2ocare.com/publications/
OTHER POTENTIAL HEALTH RISK CONTAMINANTS THAT SHOULD BE TESTED FOR IN PRIVATE WELLS
The Arsenic maximum allowable level in drinking water per the EPA is .01 mg/L (miligrams per liter) or 10 parts per billion. For more information on this see the link at http://www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/massdep/water-faqs.html. Arsenic removal is covered below in the Water Filtration Systems section.
The current Massachusetts radon remediation action level is at Ten Thousand (10,000) pCi/L (Pico curries per liter) in water. The radon must be removed from the water and it is also recommended testing the air for Radon gas as well. Please note New Hampshire requires action if radon is only at 2,000 pCi/L. while Maine & Rhode Island actionable levels are at 4,000 pCi/L. Radon removal from water is covered in the Water Filtrations Systems section below. For more information on radon, see the link at Radon Information