City of West Point issues advisory for drinking water

The city of West Point has issued a advisory for drinking water, after testing revealed high levels of manganese in the water.

Officials say the levels of manganese exceeded 1,000 micrograms per liter, upon testing a sample.

According to experts, anything above 300 micrograms per liter should not be consumed or used.

Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral found in soil, rock, food and water, but excessive amounts can cause an off taste, color or odor, and cause staining in sinks or laundry.

The typical U.S. diet contains between 2,000-7,000 micrograms of manganese per day and the Food and Drug Administration recommends 2,000 micrograms (equivalent to 2 milligrams) of manganese per day for those 4 years of age and older.

Although it’s naturally occurring, exposure to high levels can cause harmful affects to the central nervous system, particularly for formula-fed infants.

This is because infants not only have a developing nervous system, but higher absorption and lower excretion of manganese than older children or adults, so they are more sensitive to effects of high levels of manganese.

In a statement on Facebook the City of West Point says:

“The Environmental Protection Agency does have a lifetime health advisory for manganese of 300 micrograms per liter. This level is considered to be protective of even the most vulnerable in the population, formula-fed infants. Drinking water with levels greater than 300 micrograms per liter, however, should not be used for preparing formula for infants. Filtered or bottled water should be used.”

In the West Point community, however, it is recommended that ALL citizens use filtered or bottled water for drinking until such time as the newly proposed manganese treatment plant is up and running. This notice is for drinking water only, as the goal is not to remove all exposure to this essential nutrient but to minimize your exposure to high levels. If you are interested in more information about testing or treating your drinking water for manganese, please see engineer information below. 

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Service did approve the Layne Ox Filtration System pilot study. At a special meeting the City Council did authorize ordering the filters, while the units are being constructed Advance Consulting Engineering Services will be finalizing plans and specifications to be submitted to the Nebraska Department of Health for final approval. The plans and specification have not been submitted to HHS.”

This is a developing story, stay with Channel 8 Eyewitness News for the latest updates.

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