MSABI Clay Filter Pots – Removal of iron and manganese from groundwater sources

Iron and Manganese are naturally occurring metals commonly found in both surface water and groundwater.

In January 2012, MSABI determined that a review of possible methods for the removal of iron and manganese from source water should be undertaken. It is important to note that, in accordance with WHO guidelines, in most naturally occurring concentrations (including the levels measured to date in the Kilombero District), iron and manganese do not pose a health risk in terms of human consumption. In point of fact, both iron and manganese are important elements for human consumption and are dietary requirements.

However, the general Kilombero community is largely unaware of this fact, and there is (anecdotally speaking) a broad suspicion of and aversion to the presence of iron and manganese in both potable and non-potable water sources. Water with high iron and manganese content is aesthetically less desirable, as it is likely to have a metallic taste if used for potable consumption, and may cause light brown staining if used for washing or other similar purposes.

Because MSABI water points access aquifers at depths of up to 30 metres below ground level (reaching into and sometimes through rock deposits), relatively high concentrations of iron and manganese are more likely to exist in MSABI water.

In February 2012, a relevant example relating to community perceptions of safe and unsafe drinking water with respect to the presence of iron and manganese was presented to the MSABI lab.

Excerpt from: Iron Removal Summary

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