What can you do if you have lead in your plumbing?

Drinking tap water is an easy way to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

At Denver Water, our scientists, water quality experts and engineers work tirelessly to make sure that 1.4 million people in the Denver metro area have safe drinking water.

Denver Water collects more than 35,000 samples and runs nearly 70,000 tests every year. This is to ensure the water we provide is safe, high quality and meets state and federal drinking water standards.

Once the water leaves our system and flows into our customers’ pipes, there are potential risks lurking that people should be aware of, especially plumbing fixtures that contain lead.

For many years, lead has been a naturally occurring metal used in paints, plumbing and other products. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined that lead can cause health problems if it accumulates in a person’s body over time.

Since there is no lead in Denver Water’s source water, it is not in the water we distribute to customer homes.

Lead can enter drinking water as it moves through household plumbing fixtures that contain lead. The largest source of this is your service line — the pipe that connects Denver Water’s distribution system to your property. From experience, Denver homes built before 1951 are more likely to have lead service lines.

No level of lead is considered safe, which is why Denver Water offers free lead testing to our customers.

Denver Water customers can call our customer care line at 303-893-2444 or

visit our website at www.denverwater.org/lead to request a lead test. Individuals who do not receive their tap water from Denver Water can turn to the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment to find a list of state-certified labs.

If you have lead in your plumbing, follow these steps to protect yourself and your household.

  • You can replace your service line with a copper line.
  • Replace other fixtures in your plumbing with certified “lead-free” plumbing parts.
  • Running cold water for several minutes allows water sitting in older pipes to move out and water from our distribution system to move in.
  • Make sure to use only cold water for drinking and cooking.
  • If you are pregnant or have a child in the home, consider using a filter.
  • Make sure you maintain your water filter and replace the filter according to the manufacturer recommendations.

If you choose to replace the lead service line, we realize that this can be a real financial challenge. Denver Water has partnered with Denver Urban Renewal Authority to offer low-interest loans to customers who’d like to replace their lead service lines.

Denver Water is proud to provide our customers with safe, great-tasting water. If you have concerns about your water quality or want to learn more about your drinking water we encourage you to reach out to us, visit our website or give us a call at 303-893-2444.

This guest post is authored by Alexis Woodrow, PMP from Denver Water.