Ground Water Canada

Manganese standard issued by WQA and Health Canada

April 10, 2019  By Ground Water Canada

Lisle, IL – The Water Quality Association has produced a standard that for the first time will allow manufacturers to test and certify their products for health-based manganese removal claims.

The association collaborated with Health Canada and the Standards Council of Canada to write the standard in preparation for Health Canada’s issuance of a new health-based Maximum Allowable Concentration (MAC) for manganese that will apply to drinking water supplies in Canada, the Water Quality Association said in a news release.

Private wells and many small drinking water systems in Canada rely on certified point-of-use or point-of-entry drinking water treatment products to meet their national Canadian drinking water requirements. Authorities in Canada reached out to WQA because there was no published standard that would allow certification of health-based manganese removal claims.


The new WQA standard, WQA ORD1901, will avert an implementation gap with point-of-use and point-of-entry systems needed for compliance to the proposed Canadian MAC for manganese. In addition, the new standard will help companies address growing concerns about manganese in the U.S. and other countries.

“Other contaminants have recently captured the spotlight in the U.S., but manganese is discussed at almost every U.S. drinking water conference that I attend,” said Eric Yeggy, WQA technical affairs director. “Beyond just the negative aesthetic impacts, there is well-established science behind the health impacts, which is why Health Canada decided to move forward with issuing a health-based MAC.”

Kevin Wong, Canadian Water Quality Association Technical Advisor, said that, “the quick and efficient development of this standard will help protect Canadians impacted and give the water treatment industry in Canada something to measure and apply. Health Canada working with the industry on this topic is a marked step forward in the relationship and trust we share.”

Manganese in small amounts is essential to human health; however, elevated levels in drinking water have been shown to have negative health impacts. Recent studies suggest an association between exposure to manganese in drinking water and neurological issues in infants and children, such as changes in behaviour, lower IQ, speech and memory difficulties, lack of coordination and movement control.

WQA’s research showed that four POU/POE drinking water treatment technologies have the potential to remove manganese down to the new MAC: cation-exchange, distillation, filtration and reverse osmosis. If new technologies are later shown to remove manganese, those technologies could be added to the standard.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) was consulted during development, and the standard can be used to test and certify health-based manganese claims under existing North American Standards, such as NSF/ANSI 44, 53, 58, or 62. WQA will not charge certification bodies to use WQA ORD1901.

Manufacturers who wish to have their products tested and certified for the removal of manganese should contact the certification body of their choice. Certification bodies accredited to offer this type of testing and certification include WQA, CSA, IAPMO, NSF International, Truesdail and UL.

Questions about WQA ORD1901 should be directed to Eric Yeggy ( at the Water Quality Association.

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