Manganese is a trace mineral found in our body, which helps our body perform various functions also present in fruits and vegetables. When this manganese is added to drinking water, it contaminates the water and your home appliances and even turns the filter black, which you use for filtration.
Elevated levels of manganese cause can cause both aesthetic and health issues. So, suppose you’re one of the US citizens who encounter high levels of manganese. In that case, you can remove it by using specialized filters such as greensand filters, oxidation with filtration, reverse osmosis, and water softener.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way, this blog is for you; it will help you learn about manganese contamination and its suitable treatment.
- Understanding the Manganese Contamination
- Types of Manganese in Well Water
- How to Test Manganese in Drinking Water?
- What is the Cheapest Way to Remove Manganese From Water?
Understanding the Manganese Contamination
Manganese, iron’s relative, is also a natural element present in soil, rocks, and sediments. When it rains, the underground water runs through manganese or iron-bearing rocks or soil, and the water adds manganese and iron, which seeps through the well water and turns it yellow.
Like iron, Manganese is an essential nutrient for humans. However, its high concentration in well water refers to Manganese Contamination, which gives an unpleasant taste and odor, staining of fixtures, and various health issues. In deep water wells, manganese is present up to 3 PPM, and 0.05 ppm is enough to stain and damage the home appliances.
Read is manganese in well water harmful.
Manganese can enter well water through various ways, which are given as:
- Naturally found in rocks, soils, and sediments
- By industrial and agricultural runoff.
- Can be exposed through mining
Types of Manganese in Well Water
When you look for ways to remove manganese, it is crucial to understand the type of manganese. There are two forms of manganese in well water such as:
- Dissolved Manganese or Manganous manganese (Mn²⁺): Similar to ferrous iron, it is the soluble or dissolved form that is invisible to the naked eye. When it is present in water, it gives a metallic taste and odor. Additionally, it gives dark yellow, brown, or blackish color to the water. Generally, it is difficult to remove and needs to be converted into an insoluble form so that it can be filtered out.
- Manganic Manganese or Manganese Oxide: It consists of solid manganese particles that have been oxidized and are suspended in the water. It can give a cloudy or turbid appearance, stain, and accumulate in pipes, wells, and water treatment equipment, potentially clogging them.
How to Test Manganese in Drinking Water?
If you want to test your water for manganese, there are two options that I’ve described below.
1. Use a Home Water Testing Kit:
You can buy a water testing kit specifically designed for testing manganese in drinking water. These kits are readily available with instruction manuals and often include test strips or reagents.
You need to collect a water sample from your tap and use the test strips or reagents, depending on the type of kit you have. After performing the test, compare the color change with the provided color chart or instructions in the kit. The test results will indicate whether manganese levels are within acceptable limits or if you need to treat your water.
2. Send a Water Sample to a Certified Laboratory
In this case, you will need to take a sample of well water and submit it to a certified laboratory, where it will be subjected to comprehensive testing to assess the quality of your water. The laboratory will analyze your water sample and provide you with a detailed report of the findings. This report will indicate the manganese concentration in your drinking water.
The benefits of laboratory testing are self-evident: you can discover what is in your water and how contaminated it is, allowing you to determine whether you are at risk from the level of contamination in your water. Or not.
What is the Cheapest Way to Remove Manganese From Water?
Manganese is a tricky mineral to withdraw from the water because various factors influence its condition, including the pH of the water and the presence of other minerals. However, here is how to remove manganese from water.
1. Greensand Water Filters – Best For All Types of Manganese
Greensand filters are specially used to remove manganese, iron, and hydrogen sulfide from well water. It uses a filter media called “greensand,” coated with manganese oxide works as an oxidizing agent and filter.
When well water containing dissolved manganese passes through the greensand filter, the oxidation process converts the soluble manganese (Mn²⁺) into solid manganese particles (manganese dioxide). Later, The filter media effectively captures the solid manganese particles, allowing the purified water to pass through it.
They are available in compact, and you can install them in small spaces. Plus, they are considered the cheapest way to remove iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide. Remember, the media can become saturated with contaminants. You need to maintain its effectiveness through periodic regeneration by using potassium permanganate.
2. Oxidation + Filtration – Best For Dissolved and Undissolved Manganese
The oxidation methods work by covert soluble manganese (Mn²⁺) into solid manganese particles (manganese oxides), which can then be removed through filtration. Several oxidation media or chemicals can be used, which are as follows:
Potassium Permanganate (KMnO4)
It is a strong oxidizing agent commonly used to remove manganese, hydrogen sulfide, and ferrous iron from well water. It works by oxidizing soluble manganese into solid particles, which a typical filter can filter out.
Potassium permagnet is simple to use and can be added directly to the well or water treatment system. However, it can be relatively expensive and needs to be handled with care.
Chlorine or Sodium Hypochlorite (Bleach)
It also acts as an oxidizing agent that can be used to oxidize manganese and disinfect the well. After chlorination, the water is passed through a sediment filter or other filtration media to remove the oxidized manganese particles.
Chlorine or bleach is readily available and the cheapest way to kill microbes and reduce manganese contamination. Important to note that If you do not manage it properly, residual chlorine can be left in the water, which may require additional treatment to remove. If it happens, our article on how to remove chlorine naturally will assist you.
It is another oxidizing agent that can oxidize manganese in well water. Generally, ozone generators are used to produce ozone gas, which is then introduced into the water to oxidize the manganese.
One of its incredible advantages is no residual byproducts are left in the water. Still, ozone generation and injection systems can be relatively expensive and require extra energy, which can add to operational costs.
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2)
It is a chemical oxidant that can be used to oxidize manganese in well water and can be removed by using a filter.
The choice of oxidation media or method depends on factors such as the concentration of manganese in your well water, water pH, available equipment, and budget. Each of the media except ozone is the cheapest. However, you can choose according to your suitability.
3. Reverse Osmosis – Best for Dissolved and Undissolved Manganese
Reverse osmosis water filters are best for removing all types of contaminants, such as heavy metals, including manganese, salts, TDS, turbidity, nitrates, pesticides, and many more. They are extremely efficient systems that have a semi-permeable membrane that traps and filters out all the most unwanted substances.
Their countertop and under-the-sink, with tank and tankless design, give an aesthetic look to your kitchen or are where they are kept. Their little to no installation made them ideal for apartments and bungalows. Besides this, RO systems are available with a combination of sediment filter, Ion exchange, and activated carbon filter. All these pre and post-filters enhance the filter’s life and longevity.
If you have any type of contamination issues regarding hardness, salts, heavy metals, or any other, RO water filters are a solution to everything. They are available at cheap rates ranging from $200-$500 —a long-term investment.
4. Ion Exchange Water Softener – Good for Dissolved Manganese
Although whole-house water softener is specially designed to remove the hardness of water that causes scale buildup on fixtures, it can still drag iron up to 3 ppm and manganese up to 1 ppm.
It works by attracting positively charged ions such as manganese, calcium, and iron to its negatively charged resin bed, traps them, and releases the sodium ions in the water, resulting in clean water.
Before considering this system, you must consider the following factors to ensure manganese removal
- Water hardness should be 50-350 ppm
- Water pH should be more than 6.7
- Your water should have a low amount of dissolved oxygen
- Iron contamination should be less than ppm
- The manganese should be unprecipitated
- high salt-based resin media should be used in a water softener
Remember that if the given conditions are not fulfilled, the increased hardness and iron will saturate the resin, and dissolved manganese will not be removed. If conditions are good to go, then it can be an affordable option for your family. You can install it at the whole house point of entry, which will cost you around $3000, depending on your family and home.
Finally, manganese is a natural element found in nature, so we can’t stop it from getting into the well. However, we can prevent it by ensuring the well is structurally safe, with a covered seal, pump, or aquifer. Further, It is suggested to build a shallower well so that it contains less manganese and iron contamination.
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recommended safe levels of up to 0.3 mg/L of manganese in drinking water. The higher levels can be harmful, especially for formula-fed kids. So, Using water treatment options to remove iron & manganese is a practical solution.