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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.

Encourage replacing lead service lines encountered during your work, whether it's installing sprinkler systems or selling a home. By taking a proactive role, you will lend your expertise while showing customers your concern for their health and safety.

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.

Print these steps (PDF)

Technical resources & contact information

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

Bid opportunity

Denver Water and Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) are partnering to provide no- or low-interest loans to owners of single-family homes or duplexes in Denver Water's Total Service Area who want to replace lead service lines.

  • DURA solicits contractor bids and oversees the replacements. Contractors who would like to participate should apply with DURA.
  • If you are working with a customer who is interested in a loan and you know their line is made of lead, provide verification such as a signed note and tell the owner to call DURA at 303-534-3872.