Elevated Levels of Manganese Found in Tap Water in Maine Town | NECN
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Elevated Levels of Manganese Found in Tap Water in Maine Town

Berwick is giving out free gallons of water at the Berwick Fire Department, as water testing continues

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tap water is turning black in Berwick, Maine, due to elevated levels of manganese in the water. The drought has caused law ground water levels, and manganese is able to get into the water. (Published Friday, Aug. 12, 2016)

    In Berwick, Maine, the tap water is turning black.

    "It looked like used oil," said Wade Stadig, who took photos of black water coming out of his sink, bath tub, and toilet in his Berwick home.

    Town officials have tested the water and determined there are elevated levels of manganese in the water, a naturally occurring metal healthy in trace amounts -- but could cause brain damage, especially in children, at high levels. 

    "If you have young children, I would recommend drinking bottled water," said Berwick Town Manager Stephen Eldridge. 

    The town is giving out free gallons of water at the Berwick Fire Department, as water testing continues.

    Town officials believe the manganese is due to the drought. Ground water levels are so low, metals like manganese are showing up in higher concentrations.

    The EPA recommends about .05 mg/L of manganese in water. In Berwick, there's about .514 mg/L.

    "It's fine for adults, you can bathe in it -- just don't drink it," said Eldridge.

    The town is considering a new water filtration method to address the manganese -- while hoping for rain.

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