Maynilad: High manganese in water from Laguna lake
What is manganese and what should concerned parents do?
Maynilad Water Services admitted recently that water from Laguna lake contains higher than usual levels of manganese. The company has assured affected residents that raw water from the lake is treated properly and meets the Philippine National Standard for Drinking Water (PNSDW).
What is manganese?
Manganese is a naturally-occuring element that is essential to human health. In food, it can be found in grains, beans, teas and even infant formulas.
However, like all things, the chemical must not be taken in excess. Too much manganese may lead to manganism, a permanent neurological disorder. However, the company cited the World Health Organization's 2011 Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, which states that "it would require exposure to high levels of manganese over a long period before manganism develops."
Due to the decrease in water level of Laguna lake caused by drought and El Niño, manganese concentration in the water increased. Last April 25, some Maynilad customers noticed that their water was slightly discolored. This happens when manganese mixes with chlorine. However, the company was able to resolve this issue in less than 48 hours.
What are the next steps?
Concerned parents may prefer not to use tap water to prepare food such as rice, pasta and soups. Boiling, filtering or letting water sit overnight will not remove the manganese content. However, there is no need to be afraid of using tap water to bathe, shower, wash dishes and brush teeth.
Maynilad customers are advised to cover their faucets with a clean cloth to filter out sediments caused by manganese. Customers in Las Piñas, Parañaque, Muntinlupa and parts of Cavite were also informed that they will experience water service interruptions from April 27 to June 30. The water treatment facility will be rehabilitated during this period to address the water quality issues. The scheduled interruptions can be found here.
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