Frequently Asked Questions regarding Manganese

updated September 2021

Why do some people experience discolored water?  

The City of Claremore historically experiences elevated levels of Manganese within Claremore Lake during Spring and Summer months. Manganese is a common mineral found in Northeastern Oklahoma.  These minerals dissolve into the water, which can cause a black or brown discoloration within the system.  

Is the water safe to drink?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not currently regulate Manganese under its Primary Drinking Water Standards and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).  Although it can cause discolored water, Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral and does not pose a public health risk. 

What causes the spike in levels?
 

Claremore typically experiences elevated levels during seasonal changes, or when temperatures begin to rise. Common factors include lake turnover (the seasonal movement of water in a lake when waters of different temperatures mix), heavy rains and high winds.

Claremore Lake is the source of the City of Claremore’s water supply and when water inversion or turnover happens, Manganese is more apparent in the water. The water that rises to the top brings with it soluble compounds like Manganese. 

How does the City address increased Manganese levels?  

The City utilizes a Manganese analyzer to identify spikes and react more quickly to elevated levels. The City adjusts its water treatment processes and flushes lines throughout the system to expedite removal of these minerals. While our treatment processes are able to effectively treat the Manganese levels most of the time, we tend to see spikes once or twice a year. When levels drastically rise, discoloration in the water can occur.

How often is water quality tested?

Claremore’s water quality testing program evaluates for more than 54 contaminants frequently throughout the day to ensure it meets the standards set forth by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Protection Agency. The City of Claremore notifies the public of changes in water quality levels; however, these have not been health emergencies.  

Is there a long-term solution?  

In 2018, the City upgraded its capacity levels at the water treatment facility to allow for more production of water to accommodate Claremore’s growing community. This was the first step in multiyear enhancements to our system. In July of 2021, we began a comprehensive study to evaluate and prioritize needed treatment upgrades as part of our ongoing commitment water quality. 

How do I report an issue?

Households that experience sediment or discoloration to their water should thoroughly flush lines in their house by flushing toilets and running all faucets for several minutes.  If the water does not clear up, residents should contact the Public Works department at (918) 341-0457, ext. 286 or 288, or call the after-hours line at 918-341-1212.