When it comes to lead in drinking water, no levels are safe, which is why Denver Water is working to further reduce potential lead exposure for customers with lead service lines and plumbing. The water we deliver to homes and businesses is lead-free, but lead can get into the water as it moves through these customers’ lead-containing plumbing and service lines.
For nearly 30 years, Denver Water has conducted water quality monitoring at homes with known lead and copper service lines and plumbing, as part of the Lead and Copper Rule. In 2012, sample results exceeded the level the Environmental Protection Agency requires for taking action.
Denver Water has not exceeded the lead action level since 2012 and remains in compliance with the Lead and Copper Rule today. However, Denver Water is required to implement the best method to permanently reduce lead in tap water. In 2018, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment designated orthophosphate, a food additive, as the best method.
Denver Water is proposing an alternative, holistic approach to orthophosphate that directly tackles the biggest issue, customer-owned lead service lines, at its source by accelerating the removal of those lines through a Lead Reduction Program.