DENVER (KDVR) — If you live in an area with older water pipes, you may be getting a notice saying they’ll soon be replaced.
Denver Water’s Lead Reduction Plan was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in December.
The project could cost up to $500 million. Homes built before 1951 are more likely to have lead service lines. Denver Water estimates there are as many as 84,000 properties that may be affected.
Denver Water crews install or replace an average of 106,000 feet of pipe each year. The program’s goal is to replace 140,000 feet of pipe a year by 2024. A top concern is lead caused by decades of corrosion.
Water provided by the city is lead-free but once it gets into the pipe that brings it into the homeowner’s plumbing system, it can be exposed to lead if that pipe is old and needs to be replaced.
Those pipes are the homeowner’s responsibility but Denver’s Lead Reduction Program will replace them and pick up the tab.
Derek Murrow recently had the original pipes replaced at a house that was built in 1880. He tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers his replacement was finished in an afternoon.
“It was pain-free to work with, simple and it was a non-issue,” he said.
Last year, the EPA updated rules designed to guard against unsafe levels of contamination.
Denver Water is hosting virtual community meetings to address residents’ concerns. The updates will be held twice a week until the end of July and are offered in both English and Spanish.
Denver has 3,000 miles of water mains. The city identifies pipes that may carry a higher contamination risk by searching property records, analyzing water quality tests and conducting visual inspections of service lines.
The old pipes will be replaced with copper service lines.
Property owners with a line suspected of corrosion will receive notification before work begins. The program provides a free water pitcher, filter and replacement filters that are certified to remove lead, until six months after the line is replaced.
To learn more about the program, visit Denver Water’s website.