providing information to area homes and businesses
Denver Water wants to remind customers that if you
live in an older home, you may have lead in your plumbing, which could affect
the water coming out of your tap.
Every year, Denver Water collects more than 10,000
water samples, runs more than 50,000 water quality tests throughout its system,
and mails a water quality report to customers to describe the overall quality
of water from collection and storage to customers’ taps. Lead is not found in
Denver’s source water (rivers and reservoirs), treated water or public water
In addition to testing throughout its public system,
for the past 20 years Denver Water has conducted a testing program inside homes
with lead plumbing. In the utility’s most recent testing, water samples from 60
homes were analyzed. Eight of those samples showed lead levels that were higher
than the federal standard. All eight homes were built before 1920.
“The health and safety of all our customers is very
important to us,” said Tom Roode, director of Operations & Maintenance for
Denver Water. “We thoroughly test our water before and after treatment and as
it flows through our pipes in the street, so we know lead is not present in the
public water system. But, lead was used for years in paint, plumbing and other household
products, and still exists in older homes and buildings. In our experience, the
structures most likely to have lead plumbing issues were built in the mid-1950s
Customers who are concerned
about their home plumbing should consider taking the following steps:
your water to flush out lead. If it hasn’t been used for several hours, run the
cold water tap until the temperature is noticeably colder. This flushes
lead-containing water from the pipes.
use cold water for drinking, cooking, and preparing baby formula.
not boil water to remove lead. Boiling water will not reduce lead.
investing in a water filtration system. Filters must meet NSF Standard 53, and
they range from pitchers that cost as little as $20 to under-sink systems for
$100 or more. More information can be found at www.nsf.org or by calling
your household water tested by a state-certified laboratory. You can find a
list of reputable, certified labs at www.coloradostatelab.us.
and replace plumbing fixtures containing lead. Brass faucets, fittings and
valves, including those advertised as “lead-free,” may leach lead into drinking
water. Use only lead-certified contractors for plumbing work.
a licensed electrician check your wiring. If grounding wires from your
electrical system are attached to your pipes, corrosion may be greater. Check
with a licensed electrician or your local electric code to determine if your
wiring can be grounded elsewhere.
“Because there were eight homes with elevated levels
of lead among our sample group, we are required by Federal regulations to let
all customers know about the issue,” said Roode. “In addition to notifications
about lead plumbing that we send to customers each year in our water quality report, we
want to use this opportunity to raise awareness in the community and provide
our customers with information to take appropriate steps.”
Denver Water customers will receive a brochure in
the mail, which contains the required notice as well as educational information,
by the end of November. The brochure and additional information are available
on Denver Water’s website, www.denverwater.org/lead.
Denver Water proudly serves high-quality water and
promotes its efficient use to 1.3 million people in the city of Denver and many
surrounding suburbs. Established in 1918, the utility is a public agency funded
by water rates, new tap fees and the sale of hydropower, not taxes. It is
Colorado's oldest and largest water utility. For more information, visit
www.denverwater.org and follow us on Twitter.