Denver Water has been developing a comprehensive inventory of known and suspected lead service lines (LSLs) in its service area using a combination of property records, water quality tests, and visual inspections of service lines.
Denver Water provides clean, safe drinking water to a diverse community of 1.5 million people in the City and County of Denver and surrounding counties. Although Denver Water’s distribution system contains no lead pipes, they estimate that 64,000-84,000 customer-owned lead service lines are connected to their system. In January 2020 Denver Water launched its Lead Reduction Program. The program is a holistic strategy to reduce levels of lead in drinking water by adjusting pH/alkalinity, accelerating the replacement of all customer-owned lead service lines by 2035, and providing customers with filters until their service line is replaced.
120Water is facilitating Denver Water’s pre- and post-LSL replacement water sampling program, as well as its water pitcher and filter supply and distribution program. Since 2020, Denver Water has sent a pitcher filter and replacement filters to all customers in the Lead Reduction Program to provide protection before, during and six months after the customer’s service line is replaced. Additionally, Denver Water sends out water testing kits to customers before the service line is replaced and again four months afterward. This comprehensive program ensures that Denver is receiving all necessary water quality information, and that all customers are protected.
Customers receive communication materials by mail to introduce them to the program. A few weeks later, they receive a pitcher and filter certified to remove lead. 120Water has shipped approximately 120,000 NSF 53-certified pitcher filters and 206,000 replacement filters since the start of the program, at no direct cost to the customer. Over the first three years of the program, the number of replacement filters shipped is estimated to reach 600,000. During that same period, 120Water is managing the mailing of water testing kits to customers, along with detailed instructions on how to collect samples. The kits are returned to partner labs, analyzed, and all data is loaded into the 120Water cloud-based platform. From there, tap test results are automated and delivered electronically to Denver Water and by mail to customers.
This sweeping project is a strong example of a utility proactively tackling lead service lines in an effective and systematic way. The first year of the program has laid the groundwork for customer education and promoted confidence as the pitchers and filters are distributed. The water testing kits will provide valuable data to Denver Water in one centralized platform. The efforts made today will provide a strong framework over the 15-year program to replace all lead service lines in Denver Water’s service area.
120Water is facilitating Denver Water’s pre- and post-LSL replacement water sampling program, as well as its water pitcher and filter supply and distribution program. 120Water’s solution is being used to distribute 150,000 pitcher/filters and 1.2 million replacement filters over a 3 year period. in addition to testing kits.