• Iron and manganese are similar minerals and can cause similar problems. These minerals are commonly found in groundwater supplies. Iron and Manganese are metallic elements found naturally in the earth's crust. Water percolating through soil and rock can dissolve minerals containing iron and manganese and infiltrate aquafers.      ( your water supply).

  • Indications of Iron and Manganese

    In deep wells, the iron/manganese-bearing water is clear and colourless (the iron and manganese are dissolved). Water from the tap may be clear, but when exposed to air, iron and manganese are oxidized and change from clear dissolved forms to coloured or solid forms.

    Oxidation of dissolved iron particles in water changes the iron from clear, then yellow and finally to red-brown solid particles that settle out of the water. The iron that does not form particles large enough to settle out and that remains suspended (colloidal iron) leaves the water with a red tint. Manganese usually is dissolved in water, although some shallow wells contain colloidal manganese (black tint). These sediments are responsible for the staining properties of water containing high concentrations of iron and manganese. These precipitates or sediments may be severe enough to plug water pipes.

  • Effects of Iron and Manganese

    Iron will cause reddish-brown staining of laundry, toilets, showers, tubs, porcelain, dishes, utensils, and even glassware. Manganese acts in a similar way but causes a brownish-black stain. Soaps and detergents do not easily remove these stains and the use of chlorine bleach may intensify the stains. Expensive caustic chemical cleaners are used to remove the stains.

    Iron and manganese deposits will build up in plumbing pipes, faucets, toilet tanks, pressure tanks, and water heaters. This reduces the flow and pressure of the water supply. Iron and manganese accumulations can become an expensive problem when plumbing and appliances coated with iron or manganese deposits lead to early replacement.

    A problem that frequently results from iron or manganese in water is iron or manganese bacteria. These non-health threatening bacteria occur in soil, shallow aquifers, and some surface waters. The bacteria feed on iron and manganese in the water. These bacteria form red-brown (iron) or black-brown (manganese) slime in toilet tanks and can clog water systems.

  • Potential Health Effects

    There are no known health effects regarding iron and manganese in drinking water. Iron and manganese can affect the flavor and colour of food and water. They may react with coffee, tea, and other beverages to produce a black sludge, which affects both taste and appearance. Manganese is objectionable in water even when present in smaller concentrations than iron.