Lead is a naturally occurring metal that is all around us. It was used for many years in paints, plumbing and other products found in and around homes.
The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that lead can cause health problems if it accumulates in a person's body over time.
While lead in tap water is rarely the single cause of lead poisoning, it can increase a person’s total lead exposure.
High levels of lead in your household drinking water can have significant health impacts, especially for children and pregnant women.
Does Denver Water have lead in its water?
Each year, Denver Water collects more than 35,000 samples and runs more than 68,000 water quality tests. Lead isn’t present in the mountain streams and reservoirs that supply our water, and it isn’t found in water when it leaves our treatment plants or travels through our system’s water mains.
Although lead isn't present in the water Denver Water sends to your house, lead can get into water as it moves through lead-containing household plumbing and service lines, which are the two most common sources of lead in treated drinking water.
What are the common sources of lead in drinking water?
The most common sources of lead in treated drinking water come after the main, through service lines and household plumbing that contain lead.
Service lines are the pipes that connect a home or building to the water main, which are the pipes in the street that carry water through the city.
If lead is present in your service line, you have an increased risk of exposure to lead through drinking water. If you want to know what type of service line you have, a licensed plumber can test your line to determine if it is made of lead or another material. Lead service lines should be replaced, if possible.
Where are lead service lines located?
Denver Water does not have enough information to know the specific locations of all of the lead service lines in our service area.
In Denver Water’s experience, homes and buildings most likely to have lead service lines are those built before or during the mid-1950s. However, we don't know exactly when and where lead was used by plumbers and builders in our service area.
Because homeowners own service lines, we don't have records of where original lead service lines have been replaced with non-lead material, such as copper.
We are researching regulations, plumbing codes and policies from prior decades to gain a better understanding on areas where lead service lines may exist.
How do I get more information about my drinking water?
For a description of Denver Water’s overall quality of water from its raw collection and storage to the treated purity at your tap, read Denver Water’s annual water quality reports. To have a copy mailed to you please call Customer Care at 303-893-2444.
If you are concerned about lead in drinking water, you can request a water quality test for lead from Denver Water.