X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to identify Mn(II), Mn(III), and Mn(IV) in the surfaces of pure oxide standards and filtration media samples from drinking water treatment plants through the determination of the magnitude of the Mn 3s multiplet splitting and the position and shape of the Mn 3p photoline. The Mn 3p region has been widely studied by applied physicists and surface scientists, but its application to identify the oxidation state of Mn in heterogeneous oxide samples has been limited. This study shows that the use of both the Mn 3s multiplet splitting and the position and shape of the Mn 3p photo-line provides a feasible means of determining the oxidation state of manganese in complex heterogeneous, environmentally important samples. Surface analysis of filtration media samples from several drinking water treatment plants was conducted. While Mn(IV) was predominant in most samples, a mixture of Mn(III) and Mn(IV) was also identified in some of the filtration media samples studied. The predominance of Mn(IV) in the media samples was felt to be related to the maintenance of free chlorine (HOCl) at substantial concentrations (2-5 mg.L-1 as Cl-2) across these filters. XPS could be a useful tool to further understand the specific mechanisms affecting soluble Mn removal using MnOx-coated filtration media.