Water Quality Advisory

Water Quality Advisory – Manganese in Drinking Water

Health Advisory for Bottle-fed Infants and Young Children

The City of Williams Lake is issuing a Water Quality Advisory about the levels of manganese in its drinking water supply.  While the quality of the City’s drinking water has not changed, the Canadian Guideline for drinking water has.

In May 2019, Health Canada established a new maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for manganese in drinking water of 0.12 mg/L.  The City of Williams Lake draws its water from five deep wells. Test results show that the City’s groundwater wells have between 0.13 to 0.25 mg/L of manganese; the level depends on which wells are pumping and for how long.  Full water reports are available on the City’s website at http://www.williamslake.ca/376/Environmental-Reports.

Manganese (Mn) is an element found in air, food, soil and drinking water. While a small amount of Mn is essential for human health, new Health Canada research has shown drinking water with too much Mn can be a risk to health for infants and young children.

In response to this new information, the City of Williams Lake recommends people use another source of water, such as bottled water, for preparing baby formula for infants and food or drinks for young children.

The City of Williams Lake tests each well as part of its Water Quality Monitoring Program. A Water Management Strategy was prepared for Williams Lake in March 2019, which provides treatment options and costs. The City has started upgrading its water infrastructure and will be applying for Provincial and Federal grants to help offset the cost of the needed treatment plant. The City expects to meet the new guidelines in the near future.

For those who would like more information please follow the following resource links to learn more about manganese in drinking water and the City’s Water Management Strategy:

Health Canada 
Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality: Guideline Technical Document – Manganese (FAQ) https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/guidelines-canadian-drinking-water-quality-guideline-technical-document-manganese/guidance-document.html

 Ministry of Health – Province of British Columbia

HealthLinkBC Health File Number 49g:

Interior Health


 First Nations Health Authority 


City of Williams Lake

Water Management Strategy:

For more information please contact:
Gary Muraca, Director of Municipal Services
City of Williams Lake
gmuraca@williamslake.ca / 250.392.1783

For more information regarding the water quality advisories: www.drinkingwaterforeveryone.ca