According to the 2018 Drinking Water Report, people in Pierre are still being advised not to drink city tap water unless it’s filtered, because of the high level of manganese.
But, city utilities director Brad Palmer says Pierre’s water hasn’t changed and remains in compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards.
Palmer says the city’s drinking water is tested regularly.
The City of Pierre is building a new water treatment facility using Missouri River surface water, which does not contain elevated levels of manganese. When the facility comes online in 2021, the manganese concern will be eliminated.
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. The EPA recommendation to issue the drinking water advisory in Pierre was done as a precaution.
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.