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Manganese in Drinking Water
Mike Marsh
Public Utilities Supervisor
6844 Shingle Creek Parkway
Brooklyn Center, MN  55430

Ph: 763-585-7100

Safe Drinking Water Standards
The City of Brooklyn Center’s water supply is tested throughout the year to ensure it meets all safe drinking water standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency and State of Minnesota. While the City water meets the safe drinking water regulations, new information is emerging that raises concerns about the effects that high levels of manganese may have on humans, especially infants. While the City has taken steps to reduce the level of manganese in the water, households with infants less than one year old where infants consume formula made from tap water or drink tap water should follow Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommendations to further reduce consumption of manganese.

New State Guidelines for Manganese
There is no federal or state regulation for concentrations of manganese in drinking water for health reasons. Manganese has traditionally been considered an aesthetic issue, where high concentrations could cause staining or taste considerations. Manganese occurs naturally and can be found in rock, soil, air, food and in drinking water across Minnesota. Humans require small amounts of manganese to maintain health. While more research is needed to define the effects of manganese on the human body, too much manganese may affect learning and behavior. Therefore, the MDH issued guidance values for manganese in drinking water of 100 parts per billion (bp) for formula-fed infants and infants that regularly drink tap water. The manganese guidance value for children and adults (including nursing mothers) is 300 ppb.

City Manganese Levels and Actions
The City’s average level of manganese in water is 290-380 ppb, depending on which well is in operation. After learning of the MDH health advisory, the City took immediate steps to reduce the levels of manganese in the water. Since several of the City wells have lower manganese levels, the City has reduced manganese levels in City water by running these wells. The City is in the process of building a Water Treatment Plant. In the meantime, City staff is monitoring the manganese levels with bi-monthly testing, which started in April 2014. Testing will continue until the Water Treatment Plant is operational in December 2015. 

For households where infants less than one year old will be regularly drinking formula mixed with tap water or drinking plain tap water, the MDH health advisory recommends the following:
  • Use a proper filter. Carbon filters (that may also contain an ion exchange resin) used in common pitcher or faucet filter systems (found at grocery and home stores) can remove approximately 50 percent of manganese from drinking water. To identify a filter that may remove manganese from water, visit
  • Use bottled water only if the bottled water has been tested for manganese. Otherwise bottled water should not be considered safer than tap water.
  • Consult with your physician if you have health questions.
  • If residents use well water for drinking, the water should be tested for levels of manganese at an accredited laboratory.

Manganese Information on MDH Website

- Manganese in Drinking Water at
- Home Water Treatment Units: Point-of-Use Devices at
- Manganese: Tiered Health Based Guidance for Water at

Additional Resources
- View NWCT Channel 12 Video at
- View Public Information Advisory 01-02-2012 Regarding Manganese in Drinking Water