Municipal water supply managers across Canada are now studying ways to reduce manganese levels in their community water systems.

Cowichan Valley Regional District Water Management Manager Brian Dennison says Health Canada issued new guidelines earlier this year for manganese levels in drinking water.

Dennison says several CVRD water systems contain levels of manganese that are at, or above, the new limit in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.

He says the regional district has started assessing treatment technologies to find the most effective way to reduce or eliminate manganese.

Manganese is found in several foods including nuts, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It’s an essential nutrient that helps the body function properly.

For years manganese was considered a nuisance, but Health Canada now warns that high levels of manganese in drinking water may harm brain development in infants and children.

Dennison says no deadline for compliance has been established.

You can get more information about manganese in drinking water at HealthLinkBC.