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Interruptions in Your Water Service

When Denver Water or contractor construction crews are in the area:

We may be flushing hydrants or repairing the water pipe due to a water main break, or we may be installing a new water pipe. It’s also possible there may be a brief interruption in service if we are working on the meter. This is usually no more than a few minutes, and we will attempt to notify you before we turn off the water.

In any case, your water service may have been disturbed, or the appearance, smell, and/or taste of your water may be different.

Is the water still safe for drinking?

  • Most likely it is. Any difference is usually aesthetic, such as discoloration or a metallic taste. If your water has aesthetic issues, run the cold water tap at a shower or bathtub faucet for a few minutes. After that, run all indoor cold water taps for a few minutes to flush your home's internal plumbing and ensure it is fully pressurized and free from air pockets.

    How to flush your faucets after construction or a main break:

    Lead flushing instructions (PDF)

  • Denver Water flushes hydrants to test their proper functioning for fire flows, but also periodically to freshen the water supply particularly where the water pipe acts as a "dead-end source."
  • Denver Water does not anticipate any adverse health impacts from water main repairs. However, if you develop unexplained symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea or headaches, seek advice from a medical provider.
  • If you have any additional concerns, please contact our Water Quality Laboratory at 303-628-5996.

What happens when a main break occurs?

  • Our crews isolate the pipe by shutting off valves and temporarily placing the water supply out-of-service for the time necessary to make the repairs.
  • After repair or replacement of the broken pipe, it is thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and flushed, prior to being reconnected to the system.
  • New pipe, like any new container, can produce a new pipe taste and/or odor. This is not uncommon and will usually go away after a few weeks. It is not in any way harmful, only aesthetically displeasing.

What can happen when the water service has been disturbed?

  • As in a water main break or a hydrant usage, air pockets often form within the water pipes.
  • Natural mineral scale is on the inside of the pipes, and disturbances in the flow of the water (such as air pockets) from the above mentioned activities, often cause mineral scale to slough off and discolor the water or produce particulate matter.
  • If you notice this, especially in your toilet reservoir (toilet reservoirs or tank usually indicate the quality of the water coming into the home), please give us a call.
  • Try to avoid using hot water during this event, otherwise flushing the hot water system may be necessary.

Will I be notified before my service is interrupted?

  • You will receive a letter from Denver Water when work is scheduled on your street.
  • However, when we respond to main breaks or other emergencies it’s not possible for us to provide advance notice.
  • Whenever possible our crews will notify you in person and by a notice card left on your door if they are doing an emergency repair that will disrupt your service.
  • Please keep in mind we do not notify customers during late night or early morning hours.

For additional information on water quality, call 303-893-2444.

Note: Discolored water in the bathtub (hot water only) may indicate a problem with the hot water tank, which is the responsibility of the consumer.