SOUTH BRUNSWICK: State finds elevated manganese levels

Naturally occuring chemical not hazardous at tested level

By Charles W. Kim, Managing Editor
The State Department of Environmental Protection wants the township to notify residents of elevated manganese levels in some Dayton wells in 2012, according to officials.
   According to the National Institutes of Health’s website, manganese is a mineral that is found in several foods, including nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains and leafy green vegetables.
   It can be used as a medicine for weak bones and is “an essential nutrient” for humans, according to the website.
   According to a notice from the township, the state found elevated levels of the naturally occurring chemical in some Dayton wells last year.
   The secondary limit for manganese is .05 per milligrams per liter of water while the wells tested at .141 milligrams per liter, according to the township.
   ”It is not harmful (at that level) to humans,” Water Supervisor Tim Lesko said Thursday. “It could stain laundry.”
   Mr. Lesko said the secondary levels are there for the look, or aesthetics, of the water and that the tests were taken from the wells “at the point of entry” into the town’s water system.
   ”It would dilute (in the system),” Mr. Lesko said.
   He also said the wells in question were not online during the winter months and would return to the system in the summer.
   The DEP recommends more frequent flushing of water mains to reduce the levels.
   Crews are currently wrapping up a system-wide flushing that started last month.
   According to the NIH website, humans can take in 11 milligrams of manganese each day.
   Mr. Lesko said that if the levels were at a level that could be dangerous, the state would order the wells to be closed.
   ”If it was a primary violation, the would close them,” he said.