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Water Outage FAQs

Denver Water crews may be in your area for a variety of reasons, including hydrant flushing, repairing broken pipes, installing new pipes or replacing customer-owned lead service lines. During these activities, there may be an interruption to your water service. We will notify you in advance of a planned water outage; however, emergency outages may occur.

Why do water outages occur?

Water outages are necessary to maintain and upgrade our infrastructure. They may be planned in advance or the result of emergency repairs. Denver Water has crews available to respond to emergency breaks or leaks around-the-clock. During any type of water outage, Denver Water works diligently to restore water service as soon as possible.

What type of notification will I receive if there is a water outage?

You will receive a notice on your door at least 24 hours prior to a planned water outage. During emergency outages, Denver Water will provide a notice on customers’ doors as quickly as possible. Typically, emergency repairs take approximately six to eight hours to complete.

I received a water outage notice. What should I do beforehand?

Denver Water or its contractor will deliver a notice at least 24 hours in advance of the water outage to allow you time to collect water from your faucet or purchase bottled water. 

What should I do the day of the water outage?

We suggest completing your morning routines, including showering, cooking, filling bottles and filling water pitchers, as well as completing any household tasks, such as laundry or dishes. We recommend setting aside water in pitchers, pots and pans as a reserve during the water outage. Be sure to only store water for drinking or cooking in containers that are safe for those uses.

What should I do during the water outage?

During the outage, we recommend that you do not use ice makers, sprinkler systems or appliances like dishwashers and washing machines, as they may be damaged by debris that may enter the service line during work. Turn on only cold water periodically to check for running water, which will indicate work is complete.

What about after the water outage?

Once water service is restored, run cold water from a bathtub or outside spigot, weather permitting, to flush the interior plumbing and service line to clear any air or debris. 

To prevent damage to water-using appliances, consider disconnecting or turning off ice makers, washing machines, dishwashers, sprinkler systems and filtration systems before water service is shut off. Denver Water is not responsible or liable for damage to your property resulting from pressure changes or water service being shut off.

I live in an apartment building. Will I receive a water outage notice?

Denver Water makes every effort to notify all impacted customers during a water outage by posting notifications in common areas and coordinating with property managers.

Can I still flush my toilet with the water turned off?

Traditional toilets with tanks will flush one time after an outage starts. To flush again, refill the tank on the back of the toilet. We recommend reserving water in buckets, pots, etc. before the water outage to fill your toilet tank for flushing. Toilets without tanks that are connected directly to plumbing in the wall will not flush during an outage.

How long will my water be off?

Water outages vary from 20 minutes to 12 hours or more depending on the work being completed. Notices will state the estimated water outage duration for the planned work or emergency repair. While Denver Water and its contractors strive to complete the work within the stated time frames, there are times when a longer outage may be required due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Crews will not notify you when the water is turned back on. Turn on cold water periodically to check for running water. A constant and steady flow will indicate work is complete. It is possible you may notice bursts of air out of faucets along with water, particularly on higher floors. This is normal and will clear after approximately one minute of running the water.

What if there is noise or debris when I turn my water back on?

Air and mineral buildup from the water pipe may enter your service line and cause cloudy or discolored water. This can also occur as crews flush the water pipe after work is complete. This cloudy or discolored water is not harmful and is easy to flush from your plumbing. Simply run cold water at full pressure until the water clears. View more flushing instructions here

It is possible you may notice bursts of air out of faucets along with water, particularly on higher floors. This is normal and will clear after approximately one minute of running the water. Denver Water also recommends cleaning the aerators in all faucets in your home following a water outage. 

Who should I contact with questions?

Denver Water Customer Care: 303-893-2444, Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. For after-hours assistance and emergencies, please call 303-628-6801.