Symptoms of Manganese: Small amounts of manganese in food are known to be important in building strong bones and may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. However, when manganese is in water, it is quite a nuisance. It is hard to treat manganese in water because of the complexities it can form with other minerals, particularly iron. Manganese levels higher than the EPA's recommended 0.05 mg/L cause deposits and a brownish-red or dark brown staining of clothing and plumbing fixtures. For this reason, it is sometimes called "black water" since it leaves a black ring in toilets and sinks. The use of chlorine bleach in laundry will actually set the stains instead of fading them. High levels of manganese in drinking water produce an unpleasant odor and taste. Exposure to high levels of manganese over years can cause harmful effects to the nervous system, which are similar to Parkinson's disease.
Filtration Solutions for Manganese: In order to select the right filtration system for your water, make sure to test your water first. Manganese often indicates the presence of iron or other contaminants as well. Treatment and filtering of manganese from water can be done by ion exchange (sodium from cation-softener) or chemical oxidation, retention, and filtration. Removal with a water softener dictates that the pH be 6.8 or higher and is beneficial to use countercurrent regeneration with brine make-up and backwash utilizing soft water. It takes 1 ppm of oxygen to treat 1.5 ppm of manganese. An effective manganese water filter, greensand, is used along with potassium and will remove up to 10 ppm if the water pH is above 8.0. Birm filter with air injection will reduce manganese if pH is 8.0 to 8.5.