Pierre residents advised not to drink tap water

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – People in Pierre are being advised not to drink city tap water unless it’s filtered, because of the manganese level in the water.

Mark Mayer is the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources Drinking Water Program Administrator. He says Pierre’s water hasn’t changed and remains in compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards.

He says manganese is not currently regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, but the EPA is currently collecting more data to determine if manganese should be regulated in drinking water.

Mayer says the EPA recommendation to issue the advisory is a precaution.

This drinking water advisory will likely be in place until Pierre’s new water treatment plant comes online in 2021.

The City of Pierre is in the process of building a water treatment facility using Missouri River surface water, which does not contain elevated levels of manganese. When the facility is operational, the manganese concern will be eliminated.

The South Dakota Department of Health (https://doh.sd.gov/) and the City of Pierre (cityofpierre.org) will both be posting more information about manganese on their websites.

The EPA recommends that manganese levels be below 1 mg / L for adults and 0.3 mg / L for infants under six months. Samples of the City’s water show manganese levels of 2.5 mg / L. Tests also show the manganese levels can be brought into acceptable levels if treated through properly maintained reverse osmosis or water softener systems. EPA has a new emphasis on manganese in drinking water and is requiring larger systems to test for manganese.