Montrose, Minn. residents raise money for bottled water, filters after water supply concerns

Residents have launched an online fundraiser to help pay for supplies as the City of Montrose, Minnesota warns the public that elevated levels of manganese were detected in the city's drinking water.

On Wednesday, the city notified residents that manganese levels in the drinking water supply had exceeded the Department of Health's guidelines of 300 parts per billion for manganese.

Manganese, which is often found in rocks and soil, is naturally occurring and your body needs some to stay healthy. However, people who drink too much over an extended period of time can suffer health problems, including impacts to memory, attention span, and motor skills. Infants can also develop learning and behavioral issues.

The city is recommending residents purchase water filters, water systems that remove manganese, or use bottled water that is purified for drinking and cooking. In a new GoFundMe, residents are working to raise money to buy bottled water along with filtration devices for members of the community who need help.

Organizers so far have raised $1,285 while also receiving some physical donations of bottled water from people trying to help.

"We have many community members that have Babies/Small Children that just simply cannot afford another expense at this time," wrote Kim Bennett Niska who launched the fundraiser. "We also have community members that have compromised health that cannot spare any funds right now."

At the same time, Montrose city leaders say they are working with consultants to reduce the amount of manganese in the water supply and conducting additional testing of the water.