If you are concerned that your water tastes a bit metallic, there is a chance that there could be some manganese in your water. Fortunately, high levels of manganese in your water are fairly easy to diagnose, and once you have an answer, you can remove it.
There is also a chance that if you have manganese in your water supply, you may have elevated dissolved iron concentrations in your water supply as well. While manganese is more common in water that comes from a well when compared to water that comes from a city, it can still have a significant impact on the smell, taste, and color of your drinking water.
You can remove manganese using shock chlorination, dissolved oxygen, an ozone filter, or a water softener, but which is right for you? It is important to take a closer look at the problems caused by manganese and how you can remove it from your drinking water.
What Is Manganese?
First, it is important to understand that manganese and magnesium are very different things. While they might sound similar, they perform different roles in the human body and in the external environment.
Recently, manganese has been showing up more in our groundwater, surface water, and drinking water because it has been released by mining, industrial production, and inappropriate waste disposal methods. Because iron (Fe) and manganese (Mn) are close to one another on the periodic table, they are also frequently found in the environment together. That is why you might have elevated levels of both iron and manganese.
What Are the Impacts of Manganese on Your Water Supply?
Your body requires manganese to power a variety of functions. That is why you need to have trace amounts of manganese in your diet; however, if you have manganese levels in your water supply that exceed the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency, you might be consuming more of it than you should.
There are a few examples of impacts that could be caused by elevated levels of manganese. Some of the most common examples include:
1. Cognitive Issues
If you expose yourself to elevated levels of manganese for a long time, you may be at a greater risk of developing cognitive and neurological issues. For example, you might notice some weakness in your arms and legs, and you may have a difficult time sleeping at night. You might also develop tremors throughout the body.
If children are exposed to elevated levels of manganese, they may have learning and behavioral issues that become more obvious as they get older.
2. Taste Issues
Manganese in your water supply will permeate throughout your home, so it can have an impact on the taste of your food and water. If you have manganese in your drinking water, it can contribute to a metallic taste of not only your water but everything that you cook in it. Therefore, you might notice that all of your meals taste like metal as well.
If you drink coffee and tea, you may notice some black sludge at the bottom of your cup as well. That is because manganese can react with the tannins in your tea and coffee, forming a sludge that sinks to the bottom of your beverages.
3. Problems With Your Plumbing Fixtures
Manganese can also have an adverse impact on your plumbing supply. Gradually, manganese can form a disgusting brown coating on the exterior of your faucets and inside of your pipes, causing them to have problems. You might even have to replace some of your fixtures if you do not address the problem quickly.
You may also notice that your white porcelain fixtures, utensils, and dishes have black stains on them. They probably will not come off with soap and water, which can lead to frustration.
As manganese scale builds up on the inside of your pipes, it can clog your water heaters, water softeners, and water tanks. This can reduce the water pressure throughout your home.
You could also develop anemia, which is the medical term for low red blood cell levels. If you have low levels of red blood cells, you may have a difficult time getting oxygen and nutrients to the rest of your body.
If you have high levels of manganese, it may be difficult for your body to absorb iron, which could contribute to anemia.
Dissolved Iron and Manganese Removal Methods From Drinking Water
If you get your water tested and confirm that you have elevated levels of iron and manganese in your water supply causing hard water, how can you address the issue? There are a few options available, including:
1. Birm Filters Use Dissolved Oxygen
You may want to use a special water filter called a birm granular filter. This type of filter does not require any regeneration using potassium permanganate, making them preferable to manganese-based filters. Instead, these filters use dissolved oxygen, and the filters will regenerate on their own.
For these filters to work well, you need to keep a close eye on the pH to make sure it is appropriate. Then, the dissolved oxygen will catalyze the oxidation process, converting iron and manganese into solid precipitates that are easy to remove using a mechanical water filter.
2. Air Injection Oxidizing Filters
Another option you may want to try is called an air injection oxidizing filter, which is usually shortened to AIO. This type of filter will oxidize metallic ions in the water. Then, the water will pass through special filter media that will capture all of the metal ions that have been oxidized.
This can be a great way to remove not only manganese but also iron and hydrogen sulfide from your water supply. It will work well with both well water and city water.
3. Ozone Filters
Ozone filters work similarly to air injection oxidizing filters. In this case, the filter will use ozone to oxidize and convert iron and manganese into precipitates that can be removed from your water supply using a filter.
The goal is to use an ozone generator to continually produce fresh ozone that will remove iron, manganese, metallic ions, viruses, and bacteria. Therefore, it is a very thorough filtration system.
The DROP Ozone Complete solution works together with the Aeration Filter for the best of both worlds.
4. Shock Chlorination
If you are on a tight budget, another option that you may want to try is called shock chlorination. This method involves the injection of chlorine or a combination of hydrogen peroxide and a potassium permanganate solution. You only have to do this once, and the iron and manganese will immediately oxidize. Then, you can simply remove the resulting compounds using a mechanical filter.
Keep in mind that if you decide to go with this method, you need to figure out where the iron and manganese are coming from. Otherwise, you will end up with more manganese and iron in your water supply eventually.
5. Use Ion Exchange Water Softeners
Finally, perhaps the best way to remove manganese from drinking water is to use an ion exchange water softener. Ion exchange can consistently, reliably, and effectively remove dissolved manganese and iron from drinking water, reducing their levels to the point that they are almost undetectable.
There are a variety of advantages of using ion exchange water softeners to remove manganese. Some of the top advantages include:
- The resin in the water softener can be rejuvenated and used again.
- Ion exchange is incredibly effective at removing nearly all manganese from the water supply.
- When compared to oxidizing filters, water softeners have much lower backwash water requirements.
- The pH of the water does not have a significant impact on the effectiveness of the water softener.
For all of these reasons, consider using an ion exchange water softener to remove manganese from your drinking water supply.
These are a few of the options you may want to try if you would like to remove manganese from your water supply. Because there are so many options available, feel free to reach our to our expert team by phone or chat, which can help you find the best option to meet your needs.
Explore the Best Water Solutions From DROP
If you have an issue with manganese in your water supply, you need to find the right filtration system to help you. At DROP, we have plenty of water softeners and water filters that could help you remove dissolved manganese using ion exchange or another filtration process.
If you have problems with your water supply, take a look at our selection today, and give us a call if you would like to speak to a member of our team!