The author of a new Canadian study linking manganese in drinking water to lower intelligence levels in children said the research should prompt tougher regulation of the metal, which has been a concern in Madison’s public water supply.
Drinking water experts in Madison said the study is one of the first important scientific looks at connections between manganese and human health. But water officials also said the report should be viewed in the context of extensive efforts by the utility the last four years to reduce the city’s manganese levels.
“I think that here, when we talk about manganese, we’re seeing levels that are more appropriately an aesthetic concern,” said Joseph Grande, water quality manager for the Madison Water Utility. “We’re seeing tremendously lower levels of manganese.”