Denver Water presents lead pipe removal plan to EPA

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A 30-day public comment period has started after Denver Water submitted a proposal to remove all the lead pipes from its system to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The utility organization will be taking comments and sending them to the EPA as well as the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment until Oct. 10, according to a news release. People can submit comments here: https://www.denverwater.org/your-water/water-quality/lead/lead-reduction-program/comment.

Denver Water announced the plan in July. Jim Lochhead, the CEO and manager of the company, said that removing lead pipes was the most efficient way of ensuring that water will stay free of lead. If the plan is not approved, Denver Water will move forward with a plan from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, which asks that the utility provider add orthophosphate to water. The additive coats pipes, which helps prevent lead from leaking into the water.

Oftentimes customers do not realize their homes have lead pipes, Lochhead said. Denver Water offers free water quality testing to its customers. The company serves around 1.4 million people in metro Denver.

Because Denver Water is unsure how many lead pipes are in its system, Lochhead estimated the removal plan would cost between $300 million and $500 million.

To learn more about the plan, read our story from the August issue of Life on Capitol Hill at https://bit.ly/2lSrQCY.

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