How Can Water Filters Remove Manganese?

Have you noticed black stains or small black particles in your well water? Manganese may cause it. This mineral is a common well water contaminant. Still, several ways exist to remove it from your home’s drinking water.

Retention, filtration, and oxidation can remove manganese. Some methods may work better depending on the amount and type of manganese in your water.

Short Answer

As a technician for water filters, there are multiple methods for removing manganese from drinking water. Air injection oxidation, reverse osmosis, and ion exchange are the most effective and popular methods (water softener). Rocks, soil, and sediment contain manganese. If it builds up, it can cause problems. Manganese must be removed from drinking water.

Manganese removal is best done with air injection oxidation. It injects air into the water to oxidize manganese and iron. Reverse osmosis removes manganese from water using a semipermeable membrane. Water softeners use sodium ions to replace hardness minerals. Manganese sticks to the resin bed and leaves the water.

Chemical oxidation, greensand filtration, and ozone oxidation remove manganese from drinking water. Chemical oxidation and greensand filtration can treat manganese-rich water. Ozone oxidation removes water-soluble manganese.

Manganese can be removed from drinking water in several ways. Air injection oxidation, reverse osmosis filtration, and ion exchange are the most effective and widely used (water softener). Manganese in drinking water can cause health issues, so it must be removed. Thus, removing manganese from drinking water requires a reliable and effective water filtration system.

I’ve installed manganese-removing water filters as a water filter technician. Manganese in well water caused skin rashes and stomach issues for one of my clients. Air injection oxidation improved water quality and resolved my client’s health issues. A good water filtration system is essential to remove manganese from drinking water and prevent health issues.

Ion Exchange

Ion exchange removes unwanted ions from water and wastewater by exchanging specific ions for ones of similar charge. This chemical reaction can eliminate pollutants.

In ion exchange, mobile ions in water are exchanged for fixed ones on a supporting material, usually zeolite. These materials must have fixed ionic charges and be permeable to solutions to remove ions from water and wastewater effectively.

Ion exchange resins are made from different materials with different adsorption and contaminant removal properties. To keep the system running smoothly, these resins must be recharged. Resin fouling, mineral scaling, and surface clogging can also occur during this process.

Air Pretreatment

Your water supply may contain manganese, a harmful mineral. Even small amounts can stain clothes, home appliances, and pipes.

Use a water filter to remove manganese. Some options include greensand, reverse osmosis, ion exchange, and ozone oxidation.

Air pretreatment can also remove manganese from water. Oxidation media remove iron and manganese in this treatment.

You can do this with a venturi setup before your well’s pressure tank or by feeding compressed air into an expansive treatment tank and letting it oxidize manganese.

This method removes soluble and insoluble manganese at a lower cost than an ion exchange system. Still, it does not remove iron or sulfur. You also need a high pH, which you can check by testing your raw water at home or in a lab.


Chlorine can do more than disinfect and bleach surfaces. Due to its ability to oxidize unwanted bacteria, it has been used in organic chemistry as an oxidizing agent. Thus, chlorine is added to water to kill harmful organisms.

Chlorine is a colorless, bleach-smelling gas. It would sink if released from its container due to its 2.5-times-air density.

Chloride salts and chlorinated organic chemicals are formed when phosphoric acid reacts with water. Hypochlorous and hydrochloric acids form when chlorine is exposed to oxygen.

Chlorine is reactive and unlikely to enter groundwater unless mixed with other chemicals and released into the air. It can be toxic if inhaled or ingested in large amounts.

Phosphate Addition

Different methods can remove manganese from water filters. Manganese in drinking water can be removed with phosphate additives and other methods.

Most ground and surface water supplies naturally contain phosphate. To reduce iron, manganese, corrosion, and scale in drinking water, it’s added.

Most phosphate chemicals are certified to ANSI/NSF Standard #60 for Drinking Water Treatment Chemicals or meet food quality standards.

Phosphonates, though mostly inorganic, can take organic or complex forms that require different treatment methods to remove from water systems. The environment’s oxidation-reduction status determines phosphorus forms and availability.

Bacteria or other microorganisms can oxidize manganese to eliminate phosphates. These treatments are expensive and only sometimes successful.