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Getting the Lead Out

Lead Service Line Replacement Program

Service line

The primary source of lead in drinking water is customer-owned lead service lines, the pipe that brings water from the water main in the street to the plumbing in the home. Denver Water estimates there are 64,000-84,000 properties that may have lead service lines in its service area. It will take 15 years to replace all of them. The Lead Reduction Program will replace customer-owned lead service lines with copper service lines at no direct charge to the customer.

  • Because property owners, not Denver Water, own water service lines, information on what they are made of is inconsistent and scattered among a variety of sources. So, Denver Water has been developing a comprehensive inventory of known and suspected lead services lines using a combination of property records (homes built before 1951 are more likely to have lead service lines in Denver Water’s experience), water quality tests and visual inspections of service lines.
  • While Denver Water currently replaces approximately 1,000 lead service lines a year, the Lead Reduction Program will accelerate this effort to replace all lead service lines within the next 15 years.
  • We’ll be working on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, factoring in those who are most vulnerable and at-risk from lead exposure, underserved areas and planned construction activities.
  • In addition to prioritizing geographic areas, we are also prioritizing individual properties throughout the city that serve large numbers of at-risk individuals, such as schools and daycare facilities.

Preparing for replacement

Denver Water will send you an initial letter informing you that your property has been identified for an upcoming lead service line replacement. This letter will include a consent form for you to sign, allowing our crews to access your property and replace your service line.

After we receive your signed consent form, we’ll schedule an in-home visit with you to review the replacement process in detail and set a date and time for the work to take place. Most service lines can be replaced in less than six hours. An adult over the age of 18 must be present during the replacement work as crews will need to inspect connections inside your home.

You will also be included in the Filter Program. Denver Water will provide a water pitcher, filter and replacement filters certified to remove lead to use until six months after your service line is replaced.

Water service line replacement timeline

This is the sequence of events for an upcoming water service line replacement. The steps are explained in detail in this booklet.

Service Line Replacement timeline

Service line sections before and after replacement

Service line replacement process techniques

To see service line sections before and after replacement, and process techniques in Spanish please see the service line replacement information section on our Resource Materials page. 

Have you seen us working in your neighborhood?

It will take 15 years to replace all the lead services lines in our service area. To help, Denver Water has partnered with the following companies.