MDH detects elevated levels of manganese in drinking water in Janesville

The Minnesota Department of Health says they've detected elevated levels of manganese in the drinking water in Janesville.
Published: Oct. 17, 2022 at 5:29 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota Department of Health says they’ve detected elevated levels of manganese in the drinking water in Janesville.

Manganese occurs naturally in rocks and soil and is usually present in Minnesota grounds and water.

The Environmental Protection Agency has safety guidelines for manganese in drinking water:

They say it should be no more than 300 parts per billion for people older than one year, and no more than 100 ppb for infants younger than one.

The average levels in Janesville water well #3 is 163ppb and well #4 is 281ppb.

City officials advise advises residents to take some short-term actions.

”From buying purified water for drinking, especially for those infants and young children that it may affect the most. Otherwise, home softener systems can filter this out,” Janesville’s office manager, Andrea Moen said. “So those are always something that they can do just to filter the drinking water. Otherwise, if a customer would, they can always reach out and have their water tested and see if the levels reach a concern.”

The city says too much manganese can be harmful to the nervous system, but they say you don’t need to panic.

”I guess just the main thing would be to reiterate that this is nothing new. It’s just purely the Department of Health has changed their levels. The water is still safe to have to drink,” added Moen. ”It’s just advised, especially for those children under one, to either do some of those home remedies or to buy the purified water if they have to remove that levels.”

Drinking water with a level of manganese above the guidance levels can could impact health, but taking a bath or a shower in it is not.