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Lead

There is no lead in the water Denver Water sends to your house. Delivering safe water to 1.4 million people in the metro area is Denver Water’s most important responsibility, and each year, we take more than 35,000 samples and perform nearly 70,000 tests throughout our system to ensure the water we deliver is safe.

Although lead isn't present in the water Denver Water sends to your house, lead can get into water as it moves through lead-containing household plumbing and service lines that are owned by the customer. To address this issue, Denver Water has launched a new Lead Reduction Program that protects current and future generations by tackling lead at its source.

We encourage you to explore the information and resources available in this section of our website and to sign up if you would like additional information about our efforts to minimize lead exposure among our customers.

FAQs

What are the common sources of lead in drinking water?

The water Denver Water provides to homes and businesses is lead-free, but lead can get into the water as it moves through customer-owned lead service lines and plumbing fixtures.

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Sources of lead in drinking water

If lead is present in your plumbing or service line, you may have an increased risk of exposure to lead through drinking water. Find out what steps you can take to reduce your risk.

Does Denver Water have lead in its water?

The water Denver Water provides to homes and businesses is lead-free, but lead can get into the water as it moves through customer-owned lead service lines and plumbing fixtures.

Each year, Denver Water collects more than 35,000 samples and runs more than 70,000 water quality tests to ensure the water we deliver is safe.

Learn more about Denver Water’s annual water quality test results.

What is Denver Water’s Lead Reduction Program?

Denver Water is committed to implementing the best method to permanently reduce lead in tap water. Our Lead Reduction Program is a holistic program that protects current and future generations that includes permanently removing customer-owned lead service lines from our community. The program proposal was approved in December 2019 by the Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The program has five main components:

  • Adjusting the pH level to reduce the risk of lead and other metals from getting into drinking water from lead service lines or household plumbing.
  • Developing and maintaining a publicly accessible inventory of all customer-owned lead service lines in Denver Water’s service area.
  • Replacing all of these lead service lines (the pipes that bring water from Denver Water’s pipe in the street to the plumbing in your home or building) with copper lines at no charge to the customer over the next 15 years.
  • Providing free water filters that are certified to remove lead to all customers with lead service lines until their line is replaced, and for six months beyond.
  • Ongoing communication, outreach and education.

Learn more about the Lead Reduction Program.

What are lead service lines and where are they located?

A service line is a pipe that brings water from Denver Water’s pipe in the street to the plumbing in your home or building. Lead, copper and galvanized steel are common materials used for customer-owned water service lines.

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Anatomy of a service line

In Denver Water’s experience, homes and buildings most likely to have lead service lines are those built before 1951.

However, because homeowners own their water service lines, Denver Water historically hasn’t known exactly when or where lead service lines were used by plumbers and builders in our service area.

Denver Water has been developing a comprehensive inventory of known and suspected lead service lines through a combination of property records, water quality tests and “on-the-ground” visual inspection of service lines.

View a map of estimated lead service lines in Denver Water’s service area.

What can I do to reduce my risk of exposure to lead?

You can take steps to reduce your risk. Here are suggestions to get you started.

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What you can do to reduce your risk to lead

Get more suggestions on how to reduce your risk, including how-to videos to improve household water quality.

Does the EPA require testing of drinking water for lead?

Yes. Under the Safe Drinking Water Act Lead and Copper Rule (LCR), the EPA requires public drinking water systems to test the tap water from homes within their distribution system that are likely to have high lead levels. These are usually homes with lead service lines or lead solder. The EPA rule requires that nine out of 10, or 90 percent, of the sampled homes must have lead levels below the action level of 15 parts per billion (ppb).

Homeowners who participate in this study collect a sample in accordance with EPA sample collection criteria and send it to Denver Water’s state-certified laboratory for testing. Study samples are held to a tight protocol and once analyzed may not be invalidated without justifiable cause and consensus with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Education.

If you are interested in participating in a future study, email our water quality group or call 303-628-5968 to see if your home is a candidate.

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Lead and copper rule results through 2018

 

How do I get more information about my drinking water?

The Environmental Protection Agency requires public water suppliers, such as Denver Water, to provide annual water quality reports. These reports summarize information regarding water sources used, any detected contaminants, compliance and educational information.

To have a copy mailed to you please contact Customer Care at 303-893-2444 or use the contact form.

If you are a Denver Water customer concerned about lead in drinking water, you can request a water quality test for lead from Denver Water.