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Replacing Lead Service Lines

Help get the lead out

Service lines made of lead pose a serious risk to public health and should be removed. From plumbers to home inspectors, professionals in our community can be part of the solution.

Denver Water is working with the Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to reduce the risks of lead exposure as drinking water moves through homes and businesses with lead plumbing, service lines or fixtures.

Learn more about Denver Water’s Lead Reduction Program.

Replace, don’t repair

If a lead service line has a leak, it should be replaced with copper in full, not just repaired. It's important to know the appropriate scope of work required to safely replace a service line.

Steps for professional service line replacement

  1. Obtain permits from Denver Water and the local permitting office.
  2. Call Water Sales Administration at 303-628-6100 to schedule a tap cut at the main.
  3. Excavate.
  4. Replace the existing water supply pipe from the main to the water shutoff inside the home foundation using a continuous type K copper pipe (see Denver Water's Engineering Standards). If the indoor main water shutoff shows signs of deterioration or malfunction, replace it. When connecting a copper pipe to galvanized steel, be sure to use a dielectric union.
  5. Do not use splices or solder joints. Use lead-free bronze for all fittings at the meter, including the yoke.
  6. Backfill and compact excavations to standard.
  7. Replace the meter pit with new approved material (see the Engineering Standards).
  8. Schedule and pass all inspections. Contractors are responsible for rework.

Please encourage customers to flush their faucets after lead service line replacement:

Lead flushing instructions

Technical resources & contact information

For technical questions or to request copies of our handouts for customers, email [email protected] or call 303-628-6565.