Be proactive, protect your health
You can take steps to reduce your own risk of exposure to lead through drinking water. Here are suggestions to help you get started.
Test your water for lead
Look for and address potential sources of lead
- If you have them, consider replacing:
- Service lines and household pipes made of lead or galvanized iron. Learn more about lead service lines and ways Denver Water helps homeowners replace them.
- Copper pipes connected with solder made of lead, which was common before 1987. Solder can be used anywhere in the house, from fixtures to service lines.
- Brass faucets and faucet parts, such as fittings and valves. Fixtures installed before 2014 are likely to contain some brass, even if they have a chrome finish.
- If you are hiring someone to check, repair or replace your service line or plumbing, we recommend using an experienced, licensed plumber.
- Some water softeners or other home treatment devices can increase exposure to lead and other metals.
- Particles can collect in faucets’ tips, at aerator screens. Remove and clean aerators regularly.
Use water with lead safety in mind
When using water for drinking, cooking and making ice, beverages and infant formula:
- Use cold water. Hot water dissolves lead faster and is likely to contain higher levels of lead.
- If water has not been used for a few hours, run the cold water tap for a couple of minutes first, until gets noticeably colder. The lower temperature indicates you cleared water that was standing in pipes. (To conserve, catch the flushed tap water for household uses such as watering plants.)
How to flush your faucets:
Basic lead flushing instructions (PDF)
- Consider purchasing a water filter, especially if you are pregnant or have children under age 6. Look for filters certified to remove lead by NSF International, which recently published a consumer guide specific to products for lead reduction.
- Lead Exposure & Your Plumbing (PDF handout)
- Consumer Guide to NSF-Certified Lead Filtration Devices
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- Environmental Protection Agency
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