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 fire flow and improving overall 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 project, please contact the project foreman identified on this notice. If you do not have the contact information for the foreman, call 303-628-6357 for information on the project.
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.
Sequence of work
Pipe replacement projects are done in phases.
- A week prior to the project Denver Water will mark the location of water lines with blue spray paint and a utility locate company will follow marking the locations of other buried utilities such as natural gas lines and telecommunication lines.
- No parking signs will be placed at the work site one to two days prior to the start of the project. Storm water protection materials also will be installed.
- All traffic plans for the site will have been approved by the government agency Denver Water’s project is located in.
- The street will be cut and/or asphalt milled.
- A trench will be dug.
- Crews will install the new water main.
- The new main will be disinfected and pressure–tested.
- Crews may be off site while the main is tested by Denver Water’s Water Quality Lab.
- After the new main has passed 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 will be removed.
** The service line from the street-side shutoff to a residence or business is owned by the customer, and its repair and maintenance is the customer's responsibility, not Denver Water's. As a courtesy to the customer and depending on whether personnel are available, Denver Water will repair leaks between the main in the street and the street-side shutoff valve to reduce water loss. If, during repair or replacement projects, an existing service line is found to include lead, a new service line will be installed from the new water main to the shutoff valve by the street.
** Denver Water covers all jobs with temporary paving at the end of every day or after repairs are made. Permanent paving is scheduled after the entire project is complete and may be delayed because of weather or to combine projects into one large paving job.
After the crews are gone
After a main repair, 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.