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Pipe Replacement

Proactive pipe work keeps the water flowing

Denver Water replaces water mains for various reasons, including repairing or avoiding main breaks, replacing corroded pipe, alleviating water quality problems, increasing available hydrant flow and improving area delivery.

pipe replacement work
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Pipe programs

$130 million

estimated cost for 2017 to 2027

60,000

feet of pipe installed per year

3,000

miles of mains in the distribution system

1890s

installation period for older existing pipe

39.7315602, -105.0272262

Map: 2017 projects and status

Why it's important

The water distribution system contains more than 3,000 miles of water mains, and 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 flow and improving area delivery. All of these are important to maintaining the system that delivers your water.

How it impacts our customers

When Denver Water is working in your neighborhood, you will receive notification with project details and contact information. Every improvement and replacement project is different because of the conditions at the project site, but there are similar activities you can expect to see during each phase.

Phases and timeline

Before work begins

Denver Water will:

  • Take photos or video of the street, sidewalk and the front of your property so we can restore them to pre-construction condition.
  • Survey and use temporary blue paint or stakes to mark the alignment of water services.
  • Contact other utility companies so they can mark the locations of their buried facilities.
  • Mobilize equipment and materials along the street.
  • Place no-parking signs and stormwater management devices.
    • Street parking will not be available during working hours for the duration of the project on your street.

During construction

Denver Water crews will work in phases to:

  • Cut and/or mill the street.
  • Use heavy equipment to dig a trench and install the new water main.
  • Disinfect and pressure-test the new main.
    • You may notice a reddish discoloration in your water caused by non-hazardous sediment that has entered the main. If this happens, run cold water for a few minutes from the outside hose faucet or the lowest point in your home, and clean faucet aerators.
  • Connect service lines, fire hydrants and fire lines to the new main. We will provide advance notice for the water outages necessary to complete these connections.
    • Crews will typically flush the outside spigot of your property following a service line connection.
  • Keep dust to a minimum and clean the streets periodically.
  • Note: Please keep in mind these water main replacement projects typically last one to two months. Projects could last longer for a variety of reasons.

When crews find lead service lines

Because we care about public health, Denver Water will replace lead service lines found during this project with copper. When we identify a lead service line, we will notify the resident and provide contact information so the property owner can schedule the replacement. If you are scheduling a replacement, please remember someone must be home during the replacement to provide access to the inside water connection.

Because lead service line replacements can temporarily elevate lead levels in water, we will provide post-replacement instructions, a water pitcher filter and filter cartridges to protect residents’ health.

An important note: If your neighborhood has lead service lines, the water main replacement project will take much longer, because of the added time required to complete each individual lead service line replacement. This one-time effort will bring a lasting public health benefit to your neighborhood.

Afterward

Contractors and Denver Water employees will:

  • Install a permanent asphalt patch within a month after project completion, weather permitting.
  • Remove signs and stormwater management devices once final landscaping and street paving are complete.
  • Provide a one-time restoration of landscape to its pre-construction condition when weather conditions are most suitable (typically in the spring or fall), at no cost to you. Customers are responsible for watering and caring for these plantings. If weather conditions are not suitable for sod replacement, we will place straw down for erosion control until conditions improve.
  • Note: After the water main replacement project is complete for your property, we recommend you run one of your cold water taps for one to two minutes to displace the standing water in your service line before consuming the water.

Contact

To inquire about a specific project, contact the foreman listed in the notice.

For other questions, call Denver Water Customer Care at 303-893-2444.