Service Line Inventory Project
What's Happening Now
The City has hired AGL Construction to investigate service line materials between the meter pit and home foundation. Select homes have been identified for this work. If you have been contacted by the City or AGL, please get in touch as soon as possible to schedule this work.
As part of Arvada's commitment to provide safe drinking water to all our residents, we comply with all requirements of the EPA Safe Drinking Water Act. Recent revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule (effective December 2021) require the City of Arvada to create a mapped inventory of water service line materials throughout the City, and make it publicly available by October 2024.
The City has records of the system-owned service lines. However, there is less information available about the customer-owned portions. In 2021, the City began a service line inventory project, contacting and inspecting thousands of homes throughout the city.
As of Summer 2023, we have found primarily copper service lines, a few galvanized lines and zero lead lines.
If your home was built before 1960 and you know or suspect you have a galvanized or lead water service line, or you are unsure what it is, please let us know! Complete this online survey, email Water Quality or call 720-898-7800.
What is a Water Service Line?
A water service line is the connection from the drinking water main to the foundation of the home (or building). Each home's service line consists of two portions: the City owns the portion of the line from the drinking water main to the meter pit ("system-owned"), and the homeowner owns the portion of the line from the meter pit to their home's foundation ("customer-owned").
The City must inventory and categorize drinking water service line materials for all homes and buildings within the service area, including both the system-owned portion and the customer-owned portion. In order to do this, the City may request to:
- Perform visual inspections of meter pits or the point of entry inside homes or buildings.
- Take water samples at exterior taps.
- Collect customer information including pictures of where the service line enters the property.
- Perform "potholing" in the yard. This consists of digging a small hole over the service line.
- The City may ask to pothole even if an internal inspection has already been performed or received in order to confirm findings.
- If your property is selected, the City will provide a consent form that the property owner must sign and submit to the contractor prior to any potholing.
Note: City of Arvada employees will never come into your home without your permission and we will never disturb your property without your approval. City employees will always be in a City vehicle with proper identification.
Summer 2021 : project start (inventorying will continue until all service line materials are identified)
October 2024: inventory will be publicly available
2024 to 2025: anticipated service line replacement for any identified lead or galvanized lines (details and funding to be determined)
Funding Line Replacement
The City is looking into financial assistance program which may include reimbursement to the effective rule date.
If you have replaced a lead or galvanized drinking water service line since December 2021, please keep any receipts, proof of work from a licensed contractor, and evidence of prior material. If you do replace your galvanized or lead service line, please let us know by email.
- How do I know what my portion of the service line is made of?
Homes built after 1950 are more likely to have copper service lines.
You can often identify the material used in your service line through a visual inspection at the point where the water service line enters your home. Reference this photo (PNG) to find the location.
- Find the section of plumbing that enters your home near the foundation, there is usually a valve at that location. Be careful not to confuse it with the sewer or gas line.
You can scrape a small section with a coin if it is dirty or discolored. Reference this photo (PNG) for pictures of pipe material types.
- If the scraped area is shiny and silver, your service line is lead. A magnet will not stick to a lead pipe.
- If the scraped area is copper in color, like a penny, your service line is copper.
- If the scraped area remains a dull gray, and a magnet sticks to the surface, your service line is galvanized steel.
- The plumbing material may be PEX / plastic. In this case, it would appear to be plastic, not metal.
Need help or still not sure? Take a picture of the service line and email it along with the service address and a City team member will get back to you.
- What if I don’t want to replace my line (or my landlord doesn’t want to replace it)?
- The customer-owned service line is the responsibility of the property owner. The City highly recommends that any customer-owned service line that is identified as lead or galvanized be replaced as soon as possible. The City is looking into enforcement avenues to ensure all the lines are removed from the City's water service area.
- If a lead service line is confirmed to be present, a certified lead-removing filter should be used for drinking water, cooking, and dishes where water is a base ingredient or absorbed into the food (recipes like rice, beans and soup) and preparing infant formula, until the line is replaced.
- I can’t afford to replace all my plumbing materials, what should I do?
The City is working through options to provide financial support to replace galvanized or lead service lines (does not apply to premise plumbing). However, no final decisions have been made yet.
- What if my internal premise plumbing is galvanized too?
If a copper pipe is connected to a galvanized line, a dielectric junction must be installed to reduce the potential for corrosion. It is recommended that internal galvanized lines be updated as well.
- I have a lead or galvanized line, should I be worried for my family’s health?
- Your health care provider is your best source of information and support for your family's health.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment has a fact sheet about lead in drinking water that provides tips on reducing exposure.
- Are there lead pipes in the system-owned portion of the water system?
No. The City long ago removed all lead pipes from the system-owned portion of the water system.
- What are other ways I can reduce my family’s exposure to lead?
- Replace old plumbing materials and fixtures, particularly lead, galvanized, or brass.
- Run your cold tap for several seconds before use, and always use the cold side for consumption. You can warm water for cooking or formula on the stove or in the microwave.
- The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment has made resources available on its website for residents to learn more about lead exposure. They have a helpful brochure about common lead sources and health concerns.
- The EPA has resources available as well.