Seeking public comment on draft Lead Reduction Program

The executive summary is available online and the community is encouraged to weigh in by Aug. 7.

July 29, 2019 | By: Cathy Proctor
An old lead service pipe dug out of the ground.
An old lead service pipe discovered and replaced during a Denver Water project. Photo credit: Denver Water.

 

Denver Water is gathering comments on its draft Lead Reduction Program before filing its proposal with the Environmental Protection Agency in mid-August.

By March 2020, Denver Water is required by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to add orthophosphate to the drinking water it delivers to customers in order to help reduce the corrosivity of the water and reduce the risk of household, lead-containing pipes or plumbing impacting the water.

The draft Lead Reduction Program Plan describes a proposed alternative to adding orthophosphate to the water system. The plan, if approved, would build on Denver Water’s decades of work addressing lead in the community.

To access an executive summary of the proposed plan and the comment form, click here.

The proposal aims to reduce the risk of lead leaching into Denver Water’s lead-free drinking water by:

  • Removing all lead service lines in Denver Water’s service area at no charge to the customer over the next 15 years.
  • Providing at-home water filters for all customers in the service area with a suspected lead service line, also at no charge.
  • Increasing the pH level of the drinking water, which reduces the corrosivity of the water.

To implement the multipart program instead of the orthophosphate additive, Denver Water is required to submit a variance request to the EPA in mid-August. Following that submittal, the EPA will initiate its own public comment period before it decides which approach will be implemented.

Denver Water also has a map of estimated customer-owned lead service lines as a starting point to help customers identify the likelihood of their home having a lead service line. Customers are encouraged to verify the accuracy of the information represented by this map for their residence by requesting a free water quality test from Denver Water.

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