As part of ongoing efforts to provide a reliable, high-quality water supply, Denver Water identifies sections of pipeline to recondition each summer.
Like many other utilities, Denver Water used to install pipelines made of cast iron. Over time, cast iron can corrode and may lead to water discoloration, decreased pressure and increased susceptibility to leaks or main breaks.
Despite these issues, cast iron is very sturdy and — with proper maintenance and improvements — can provide reliable service for decades to come.
What does pipe rehabilitation involve?
This routine, annual project involves cleaning the insides of pipelines and applying a new lining as a cost-effective, minimally invasive alternative to pipe replacement. The new lining protects pipes against future interior corrosion and creates a barrier against leakage, adding many more years to pipes’ ability to provide high-quality water and adequate flows for fire protection.
What are the neighborhood impacts during the work?
Pedestrians should take extra caution as there will be temporary above-ground systems of pipes and hoses along the gutters and sidewalks. Additionally, motorists, pedestrians and residents can expect to see:
- Traffic lane and street parking closures.
- Water running in streets for water quality-related flushing.
- Construction equipment and materials.
- Metal covers on temporary street openings.
- Asphalt paving activities.
We understand the inconveniences maintenance projects can bring to neighborhoods and businesses. To help minimize traffic disruptions, Denver Water works closely with local permitting and traffic authorities as well as elected officials’ offices and associations representing businesses and homeowners.
Does the work impact customers directly?
Yes. Because water cannot be running in pipes during cleaning and relining, crews temporarily reroute — or bypass — water to customers by setting up above-ground water supply systems of hoses and piping along streets and sidewalks.
Does the project impact service lines?
Yes, in some cases. Although service lines are owned by property owners, Denver Water will, as an interim part of the pipe rehabilitation project, dig a small hole on each side of customers' water meters to expose their service lines. If we find that a service line is composed of lead, Denver Water will, for the interim, 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.