Getting the lead out when we find it

In 2016, Denver Water replaced about 1,000 lead service lines found during our construction work.

May 4, 2018 | By: Jay Adams

Editor’s note: This story has been updated since its original publication date.

The Postal Service delivers mail to your mailbox. The power company sends electricity to your meter. And Denver Water provides safe drinking water to your service line, which connects our water main to your home.

Denver Water foreman, Johnny Roybal, overlooks Steve Foster (left) and Daniel Rubalcaba as they work to replace a lead service line.
Denver Water foreman, Johnny Roybal, overlooks Steve Foster (left) and Daniel Ruvalcaba as they work to replace a lead service line.

There are nearly 200,000 service lines connected to Denver Water’s elaborate system of water mains, which run beneath the metro area. Some of those service lines are made of lead, and this can create a health risk if the lead leaches into your drinking water.

Service lines are owned and maintained by property owners, not Denver Water. And that’s the challenge, we don’t know which homes have service lines made of lead.

This is why Denver Water is taking a proactive approach to remove lead service lines from the community. In 2016, we replaced about 1,000 service lines.

Simply put, if we find a lead service line in the course of construction projects such as pipe replacement, we will replace it with a new copper service line, all the way from the water main to your home.

If we are not working near your house and you are concerned about the possibility of lead in your water, here’s what you should do:

  • Request a free lead sampling kit from Denver Water to determine if water from your faucet contains lead.
  • If lead is discovered in your water, contact a licensed plumber to inspect your house to see if you have a lead service line or plumbing that might contain lead. In Denver Water’s experience, we typically find lead service lines at properties built in 1950 and earlier.
  • A licensed plumber can also replace your lead service line with a copper service line.
  • If replacing your line isn’t an affordable option, visit denverwater.org to learn about other ways you can protect your family from lead risks, including details on specialized filters.

For more information on lead in water or to request a free lead sampling kit, call 303-893-2444 or visit denverwater.org

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