March 28th, 2014 (InsideCostaRica.com) Brown or “coffee colored” water coming from their taps has been causing residents in the central Pacific community of Parrita concern, but the Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA) are telling the community that the water is perfectly safe to drink, despite its color.
According to AyA, the discoloration of the water is caused by the presence of iron and manganese.
Manganese is a free element found in nature, often with iron. Manganese is a metal with important industrial metal alloy uses, particularly in stainless steels.
Despite assurances from AyA that their water is safe, most area residents remain concerned.
“The water comes out a coffee color,” said Gustavo Artavia, who lives in Parrita. “We have been told that this does not produce health problems. However in my house, we don’t risk drinking it, nor cooking or washing our clothes with it.”
William Chaves, Aya Regional Director for the Central Pacific, says that the color is due to an excess of the minerals, adding that the water does not pose any health risks.
“According to the World Health Organization, these minerals are within recommend values for tap water,” Chaves said.
Waterborne manganese has a greater bioavailability than dietary manganese. According to results from a 2010 study,higher levels of exposure to manganese in drinking water are associated with increased intellectual impairment and reduced intelligence quotients in school-age children.