Manganese Levels

LAST UPDATE: Thursday, October 15, 2020

PREVIOUS UPDATES: 

The City of Ramsey Utilities Department has been collecting and testing 15 water samples each month for manganese concentrations. Prior to July 2020, results indicated that, of the sites tested, all samples had fallen below the 100 parts per billion (ppb) set by the Minnesota Department of Health for bottle feed infants below the age of 12 months. In the July 2020 tests, one of the wells tested at 108 ppb and another at 131 ppb. View a map of the latest results.

The City continues to utilize only City wells with the lowest concentration of manganese. Timely rains have helped lower daily demands for water and our odd/even sprinkling ban also contributes to lower demand. The City plans to test its water for manganese monthly to monitor the levels and create a long-term plan moving forward.

Please note that manganese can also be present in private well systems and residents are encouraged to have their wells tested annually.

The City’s municipal water system serves approximately 5,600 households. The remaining homes in the City are served by private wells. If you have your own well, you are responsible for having it tested for safety.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) regularly tests the City’s municipal water supply. Fortunately, the most recent test results show that the municipal water supply meets all Safe Drinking Water Act standards; however, some of the City’s municipal drinking water wells have manganese levels above MDH’s recommended health guidelines. Due to the possibility that City municipal water may be above MDH’s health guidelines for manganese, MDH recommends considering home water treatment or bottled water for drinking, cooking and preparing infant formula if you or your family consume City municipal water.

Health Guidelines for Manganese:

Manganese is a naturally occurring element found in rocks and soil and is usually present in Minnesota ground and surface water. Your body needs some manganese to stay healthy, but too much can be harmful. Learn more on the MDH webpage Manganese in Drinking Water.

Recent scientific studies of manganese exposure have prompted the MDH to create new guidance values for water consumption. Due to the possibility that water may exceed MDH safe consumption guidelines, MDH recommends considering home water treatment or bottled water for drinking, cooking and preparing infant formula if you choose to consume City municipal water.

The MDH recommended health guidelines are:

  • If you have an infant who drinks tap water or drinks formula made with tap water, a safe level of manganese in your water is 100 parts per billion (ppb) or less.
  • If you have an infant who never drinks tap water or formula made with tap water, a safe level of manganese in your water is 300 ppb or less.
  • If everyone is more than one year old, a safe level of manganese in your water is 300 ppb or less.
  1. The Issue: High Manganese
  2. City Solution
  3. What Can I Do?

The City has eight drinking water wells that are tested for manganese. The City municipal water supply is a mixture of water from all eight wells. This year, two of the City’s eight wells tested above the MDH health guidelines for bottle-fed infants, children and adults. Two more tested above the recommended guidelines for bottle-fed infants. The other wells have low manganese levels below the guidelines.