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Manganese

  • Manganese can be naturally occurring in New Mexico geology and dissolve into groundwater. It may also get into the environment from industrial processes and products.
  • The most common result of high manganese concentrations in water is aesthetic effects (black/brown color and bitter taste) and build up that may cause plumbing problems.
  • It is important to test your well water before choosing a treatment system.


  • Manganese is essential for some bodily processes and can be found in a variety of foods, soil, water, and air.
  • Testing your private well water is the best way to know the amount of manganese in your drinking water.
  • The body more easily absorbs manganese from water than food. Manganese in well water is not usually associated with health problems, however, long-term exposure to manganese in drinking water above 0.3 milligrams per Liter (mg/L) may be associated with neurotoxicity related health problems in some people, including muscle weakness.


  • Manganese can occur naturally in the groundwater in New Mexico because the water dissolves it out of rock and soil. It may also get into the environment from industrial processes and products.
  • Public water systems should not have manganese above 0.05 milligrams per liter (mg/L) to avoid undesirable color, and taste as recommended by New Mexico Environment Department and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
  • To find the quality of your municipal drinking water contact your community water system provider. If you are on a private well, have your drinking water tested regularly.

Treatment of water can vary depending on water chemistry. It is important to test your water before choosing a water treatment system. A licensed well contractor or water quality professional may help with choosing the right treatment system for your water chemistry. Learn how to hire a contractor from wellowner.org.

For additional guidance choosing a treatment system certified to remove manganese consult with the Water Quality Association or at 630-505-0160 or NSF international (formerly the National Sanitation Foundation) or at toll-free at 1-800-NSF-MARK (1-800-673-6275).

Learn more about testing.

Learn more about private well water and treatment.

If you get your water from a public drinking water system, contact:
If you get your water from a private well, you should have your well water tested:
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Content updated: Thu, 4 Jun 2020 16:26:02 MDT