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Denver Water: Accelerating Lead Service Line Replacement via BIL Funding

Lead Reduction Program 

Clean water is a must for everyone.  Despite delivering lead-free drinking water through the water main, lead can still enter the drinking water of customers with lead service line pipes and fixtures located on their property. Lead in drinking water is a significant health concern, especially for babies, youth, and pregnant women. 

Denver Water is leading the way by replacing lead service lines with copper, at no cost to the customer. The Lead Reduction Program was approved in December 2019 by the EPA and CDPHE and received supplemental BIL funding in 2022 – enabling swift and decisive action to protect public health by replacing 64,000-84,000 lead service lines over the next 15 years.  

Inventory and Prioritization 

-Denver Water is tackling the challenge of determining which   homeowners may have lead service lines old records,  water quality   tests, and physical inspections to create a detailed map of known and   suspected lead pipes. Additionally, whenever a lead service line is   encountered during routine maintenance or redevelopment, the line is   flagged for replacement. 

-Critical facilities (i.e., childcare facilities, schools) and neighborhoods   with high likelihoods of having lead service lines are prioritized for   replacement.  

Accelerating the Pace! 

  • Before the Lead Reduction Program, Denver Water replaced about 1,200 lines / year during normal operations 
  • Starting in 2020, the Lead Reduction Program increased the goal to 5,000 lines/ year, setting a 15-year goal for replacement of the estimated 64,000-84,000 lead service lines 
  • Supplemental BIL funding received in 2022 is anticipated to significantly speed up the process. For every 4,500 pipes replaced with this funding, the program shortens by a year. 

Does my home have a lead service line? 

If your home was built before 1950 there is an elevated chance that it may have a lead service line. Plumbing and construction standards have changed so much that an onsite inspection is needed to confirm whether a lead service line is in place.  

If your home is within the neighborhoods identified for a replacement for the year, Denver Water will send a letter including consent form which allows Denver Water crews to access your property and replace your service line. Following this, there is a home visit to explain everything and set a date for the work. It usually takes less than six hours, and an adult must be present during the replacement for safety checks. For homes getting a new pipe, Denver Water provides a water pitcher, a filter, and replacement filters certified to remove lead. These are usable until six months after the new pipe installation, ensuring continued access to safe water. 


Denver Water’s Lead Reduction Program is a swift and effective effort to ensure clean water. By expediting the program and focusing on critical facilities and targeted neighborhoods Denver sets an example for solving high priority water concerns and maintaining community health.