DENVER (KDVR) – As of this week, Denver Water has exceeded its goal of replacing more than 4,500 service lines with no direct burden on homeowners. Up to 84,000 properties may have lead service lines.
The water Denver Water provides to homes and businesses is lead-free, but lead can get into the water if it is passed through leaded appliances, plumbing, and water pipes. The pipe that brings water into the house from the main road to the street belongs to the homeowner.
Access to the pipes can sometimes result in getting behind walls and under the floor.
Delia Rojas tells FOX31 problem solvers that she was surprised that she would be responsible for repairing additional damage to her floor.
“No sane homeowner is going to allow you to dig a hole in their house and then not come and fix it,” she said.
Denver Water tells Problem Solvers that information about the program has been routed to customers through 5 million mailings, digital communications, and phone calls in English and Spanish on a regular basis. The crews make it clear to homeowners that damage may be required to get to the pipe as the connection for service lines is sometimes behind a finished wall or under a floor.
A statement from Denver Water to FOX31 stated, “There are times when additional disturbances must occur in the interior so that the crews can access the pipe and complete the job safely. This part of the restoration is the responsibility of the owner and will be discussed before work begins. ”
In a case where there is a misunderstanding or dispute, like with Rojas, Denver Water says, “In this case, we are asking the customer to file a lawsuit so we can do our due diligence and investigate.”
Denver Water reached out to Rojas to explain the application process.
Denver Water says once Rojas submits a contractor’s offer, they can officially submit the claim and it will take up to 20 business days for the claim to be processed.
If approved, she receives compensation.
Homeowners can sign a waiver to deactivate the pipe replacement program. According to Denver Water, this means not benefiting from the lead pipes being replaced for free, which can cost more than $ 10,000.
Denver Water announced to FOX31 that the staff will continue to train property owners who do not agree to the exchange every year and provide them with new opportunities to participate in the program. New owners are quickly informed of the program and the risks involved in not replacing lead pipes.
Learn more about Denver Water’s Lead Reduction Program on their website.
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