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Water Quality Advisory: Elevated Manganese in Drinking Water

Water Quality Advisory: Elevated Manganese in the Beryl Prairie Water System

Do Not Use Water for Reconstituting/Preparing Infant Formula.

This notice is being issued because elevated levels of manganese have been measured in the drinking water supply that serves Beryl Prairie.

Manganese in the water supply has been measured at 0.207 mg/L, which exceeds Health Canada’s – Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) of 0.12 mg/L. According to Health Canada, increased levels of manganese may contribute to adverse health effects on the nervous system, especially in infants. The MAC is protective of this most vulnerable population (infants and young children).

To reduce risks, the Drinking Water Officer/ Medical Health Officer advises:

  • Water from this water supply system should not be fed to infants nor used for preparing/reconstituting infant formula.
  • Older children and adults should consider in-home water filtration or reverse osmosis systems to reduce the levels of manganese in drinking water used for drinking and cooking.
  • Water may be used for showering, bathing and other household uses without concern.

Background Information on Manganese

Most manganese intake comes from food; however water can also be a significant contributor in our diet. Manganese is an essential nutrient, and some manganese is required for proper bodily function, however high levels of manganese in drinking water have been associated with effects on neurological development. Infants are at highest risk, particularly those who consume powdered baby formula reconstituted from water that is high in manganese.

Because of infants’ increased water consumption relative to body weight, rapid brain development, an increased ability to absorb manganese and a decreased ability to remove manganese from their bodies, another suitable source of drinking water (e.g., bottled water) should be used to reconstitute and prepare powdered infant formula. Breastfeeding is not likely to be a route of significant exposure.

Short-term ingestion of manganese in drinking water by older children and adults at levels slightly above the MAC is not expected to result in adverse effects, however, if there are concerns, an alternate source of water should be considered.

It is not possible to quantify health effects of past exposure to manganese in individuals, however future exposure can be managed to reduce risks of neurological effects.

For more information regarding manganese in drinking water, please visit HealthLink BC – “Manganese In Drinking Warer” BC Health File at

For further information contact: Tina Henderson at 250-783-1455.