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Is there a decent way to test for solvable manganese in water without purchasing a 150USD test kit? I have a fair chemistry set available (I use it to teach my kids chemistry), and would rather pay 50USD for something to add to it that can also be used for other things later than pay for some test that may not be that accurate anyway.

Our city water supply to our house produces a black slime that is likely from bacteria that feeds on iron or manganese. I’d like to start getting to the bottom of it. This is a first step.

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    $\begingroup$ Forget about iron and manganes (you will definitely find some). Your water supply produces some black slime, period. Could be a problem in your house, or in the street. Likely both, now. Somehow the pipe system is contaminated. Alert your city officials, this is just inaccetable. Btw., are you sure this is in the pipes, and not just in your faucet? $\endgroup$ – Karl Aug 18 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, for random strangers on the internet, there is perhaps no way situations like this can be adequately explained. Even the best answers would be nothing more than educated guesses, which is why I'm afraid I have to vote to close this question as "unclear". $\endgroup$ – M.A.R. Aug 21 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Karl yeah, it’s several faucets on two floors, unfortunately. $\endgroup$ – Jesse Williams Aug 23 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @M.A.R. - perhaps that’s true in this case. I don’t know, which is why I asked. But there are often simple options. Kjeldahl Digestion for nitrogen would be an example. A Prussian Blue test for cyanide would be another. Is there such a method for soluble manganese (quantitative)? $\endgroup$ – Jesse Williams Aug 23 at 20:10
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Best way is sending a sample for Atomic Adsorption Spectroscopy (AAS). You can get the concentration for $\ce{Mn, Pb, Fe, Cr, Ni}$, and other water goodies. Contact a local university or lab and get a price quote for a test. Or get a flame spectroscope and DIY https://web.pdx.edu/~atkinsdb/teach/427/Expt-AtomicSpec.pdf

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