Denver Water crews install or replace an average of 60,000 feet of pipe a year. Replacements are done for various reasons, including repairing or avoiding main breaks, replacing corroded pipe, alleviating water quality problems, increasing available hydrant flow and improving area delivery.
The water distribution system contains more than 3,000 miles of water mains. Every improvement and replacement project is different because of the conditions at the project site.
When Denver Water is working in your neighborhood, you will receive a notice at your door describing the project and providing contact information in case you have questions. To inquire about a specific ongoing project, please contact the project foreman identified on the notice. For other questions, call Denver Water Customer Care at 303-893-2444.
Sequence of work
Pipe replacement projects are done in phases.
- About a week before the project begins, Denver Water will mark the location of water lines with blue spray paint. A utility locate company will then mark locations of other buried utilities such as natural gas and telecommunication lines.
- Signs blocking parking spaces will be placed at the work site a couple of days prior to work. Storm water protection materials also will be installed.
- Before work begins, all plans for the site are approved by the government agency associated with the project's location.
- The street will be cut and/or milled.
- Crews will dig a trench and install the new water main.
- The new main will be disinfected and pressure–tested.
- Crews may be offsite while Denver Water’s water quality experts test samples from the main.
- After the new main passes these tests, crews will return and connect service lines, fire hydrants and fire lines to the new main.
- Crews will disconnect the old main.
- Paving will be done per the requirements of the local government.
- Any damage to curbs or landscape will be repaired.
- Storm water protection materials and parking signs will be removed once paving and concrete are completed.
Permanent paving is scheduled after the entire project is complete and may be delayed due to weather or to combine projects into one efficient paving job. Because of this, Denver Water covers all jobs with temporary paving at the end of every day or after repairs are made.
Water service emergencies, such as a main break in other parts of Denver Water's system, may take precedence over replacement projects. Please be aware that workers may leave at a moment's notice to work on those emergencies and may not return the following day.
Service line inspection
Service lines are owned by property owners, but If we find that a service line is composed of lead, Denver Water will, as part of a 2017 program, replace that line entirely with copper at our cost.
Because lead service lines can increase the risk of exposure to lead through drinking water, Denver Water will provide post-replacement instructions, a water pitcher filter and filter cartridges to customers whose lead service lines were replaced.
Possible water discoloration
After a main replacement, you may see reddish discoloration in your water, which is caused by small amounts of iron compounds flushing out of the system. These iron compounds are not hazardous. You can get rid of the discoloration by running cold water for a few minutes through the bathtub or outside spigot, which don’t have aerators. Iron particles can get caught in your faucet aerators, which will decrease water flow. If that happens, take off the aerator and rinse it out.
Denver Water will take detailed photos or videos of hardscape or landscape that may be disturbed during construction. If Denver Water impacts your landscape during construction, we will restore your landscape to its preconstruction condition at no cost to you. Note that there may be a planting delay depending on weather and, if needed, to wait for the growing season. After the planting is complete, it will be your responsibility to water and care for the restored landscape plantings.