Got Manganese?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes a Draft Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) for public comment every five (5) years. The EPA then uses the CCL to identify priority contaminants for regulatory decision-making and potential future regulation. 

The EPA published a Draft Fifth Contaminant Candidate List (CCL 5) on July 19, 2021, which included some hot topics such as PFAS (PFAs and Contaminants of Emerging Concern – Commonwealth Engineers). The CCL 5 also included several chemicals that until now have been considered only aesthetic concerns, such as manganese (known at lower levels to cause discolored water and potential staining of laundry or fixtures).

It’s not yet known if the EPA will go on to require enforced regulations on manganese. However, the consideration of regulation is gaining ground as more information becomes available on possible health effects at high levels and accumulation of legacy deposits with metals such as lead. Of specific concern is the impact of cognitive and neurological effects on children. It is also now known that manganese can interfere with disinfectant residual sampling methods.

If your utility has manganese, it may be able to be removed at the treatment plant by some modifications to the existing treatment processes, and improvements in your distribution system maintenance may be necessary.

It is important to note that there is funding available for “Emerging Contaminants.” Reach out to Theresa Criss-Hartwig for more information on protecting your utility as well as accessing grant funds.