Manganese levels in private wells should be checked against new guidelines: N.S. official

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health says private wells should be tested to make sure drinking water meets new federal guidelines for manganese.

Health Canada has for the first time set a guideline of 0.120 milligrams per litre based on the health effects of manganese.

Dr. Robert Strang says current evidence indicates that over a prolonged period of time, drinking water with manganese levels above the guideline can adversely affect brain development in children, and memory, attention and movement in adults.

More than 40 per cent of Nova Scotia households get their drinking water from private wells and they are advised to test their drinking water and treat it if manganese exceeds the acceptable level.