By Eric Heinz
Denver Water has been reaching out to residents and neighborhood organizations about the upcoming year of its lead reduction program, which replaces potentially tainted water lines for homeowners for free.
“The water that we provide to homes and businesses is lead-free, but lead can get into the water as it moves through lead-containing household fixtures, plumbing, and water service lines—the pipes that bring water into the home from the main in the street, which are owned by the customer,” Jose Salas, a spokesman for Denver Water, told The G.E.S. Gazette.
Recently, Denver Water did work on 47th Avenue and North Josephine Street in Globeville, where 15 lead service lines were identified and have been replaced or scheduled to be replaced. The Lead Reduction Program started in January 2020 as a 15-year effort to locate and replace an estimated 64,000 to 84,000 lead service lines in the Denver Water service area. The lines belong to the property owner, but are replaced at no direct charge to the customer as part of the program.
Since 2020, Denver Water said it has replaced more than 15,000 lines. The Lead Reduction Program’s Dashboard currently shows 4,731 lead service lines replaced in 2022, which is 108% of their annual target. Denver Water also provides customers in the program with a free pitcher and water filter, as well as replacement filters, to use for drinking, cooking, and preparing infant formula until six months after their lead service line is replaced.
“Denver Water needs the consent form to complete work to replace the customer-owned service line,” the utility stated in an email. “We use a model that takes into account those who are most vulnerable and at-risk from lead exposure, underserved areas, and planned construction activities to identify where we will be doing line replacement work the following year.”
Residents at properties identified for upcoming replacement work will receive a packet outlining the replacement process in more detail and asking for the property owner’s consent to allow Denver Water to move forward, the utility provider stated.
A map showing the 2023 work areas and other planned construction activity along with the anticipated timing is available at denverwater.org/pipes. Denver Water said it is in the final steps of receiving federal funding to accelerate the program, which will expand work in the next year, “nearly doubling the amount of service line replacements,” the utility provider stated.
More information on the program is at denverwater.org/lead, or can be found by calling customer care at 303-893-2444 or emailing email@example.com.