Denver Water currently implements a lead reduction and replacement program in order to reduce lead exposure in tap water at homes and businesses in their service area. More information about the program can be found on Denver Water’s website.
Background Denver Water conducts water quality monitoring at homes with known lead and copper service lines and plumbing to meet regulatory requirements, specifically, the Lead and Copper Rule. The water delivered to homes and businesses is lead-free, but lead can get into water as it moves through customers’ lead-containing household plumbing and service lines.
In 2012, Denver Water exceeded the lead action level. Denver Water started a series of studies to determine the best treatment. In March 2018, the department designated orthophosphate addition, based on Denver Water’s studies. Denver Water also conducted extensive studies demonstrating that lead service lines were the major contributor of lead in tap water for the Denver Water service area.
Denver Water developed an innovative program that would reduce lead in tap water and better protect public health and the environment and would not involve adding orthophosphate. EPA approved the variance on December 16, 2019 for a period of three years and can be extended if Denver Water demonstrates the effectiveness of the variance program at reducing lead in drinking water. The department will oversee Denver Water’s implementation of the variance to ensure that public health goals are met.
Stakeholder process and summary report The department organized a stakeholder process as part of the Denver Water optimal corrosion control treatment designation. The department and several parties signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to work together to avoid litigation, discuss additional studies and other topics. In November 2018 the MOU Leadership Team developed the following statement of success for the stakeholder process: MOU Stakeholders will collaboratively seek long-range regional solutions that maintain public trust and protect public health and the environment per the Safe Drinking Water Act and the Clean Water Act, while additionally minimizing impacts to water supplies, wastewater treatment plants and watersheds.
This stakeholder process concluded in September, 2019. During this effort, stakeholders reviewed findings and recommendations from multiple technical working groups with regards to drinking water, wastewater and watershed interests. The final Watershed and Wastewater Stakeholder Summary Report summarizes the results of this stakeholder effort that focused on addressing the impacts of orthophosphate as optimum corrosion control treatment to wastewater and watersheds in the metro area.
Review meeting materials (agendas, presentations, handouts and meeting summaries for all stakeholder meetings in this process).
Exposure of young children to household water lead in Montreal area (Canada): The potential influence of winter-to-summer changes in water lead levels on children’s blood lead concentration