Committed to our Community’s Health

The City of Boulder strives to provide clean, safe, great-tasting drinking water to our customers.

Program Overview

The city is in the process of inventorying all drinking water service lines in our service area to determine what material they are made of. We are using a few methods to complete this program, including records review and visits to homes and businesses.

Federal regulations require all water providers to conduct this inventory, specifically to determine if there are any lead service lines. While lead in drinking water has been a concern in some municipalities, the city does not currently have evidence that would support such concerns in Boulder.

Boulder Monitors for Lead in Drinking Water

Lead in drinking water can occur if water lines and plumbing materials that contain lead corrode over time. The city's water treatment process is designed to reduce corrosion and protect pipe materials.

The city consistently provides high-quality drinking water that meets water regulations, and our water sampling program goes above and beyond requirements, including those that limit the amount of lead in drinking water.

We have monitored for lead in drinking water for over 30 years, and our results are consistently below federal and state drinking water standards.

More information about the city’s drinking water quality can be found in its Annual Drinking Water Report.

New Regulations

In 2021, the federal government enacted new regulations to mitigate exposure to lead from water service lines. A service line is the pipe that moves water from the city’s water system into homes and businesses. The city owns the water service line from the water main (typically under the street) to the meter, and the customer owns the water service line from the water meter into the home or building.

To comply with the new regulations, all drinking water providers in the U.S. must inventory their water service lines to identify and develop a plan to replace any made of lead. Some service lines made of galvanized steel may also require replacement.

The city is not aware of any lead service lines in our public system, and the water leaving our treatment plants does not have lead in it. However, customer-owned water service lines that connect to older homes and businesses might. The city has started a program to identify if lead is present in water service lines to every home and business in Boulder.

To do this, we need our customers’ help to identify what their property’s water service line is made of.

Submit Your Findings

Add your property to the city’s water service line inventory by taking five minutes to complete the following form accessed through the link below:

How To Check Your Water Service Line

What year was your home built?

  • Before 1956: you should verify your water service line material. Homes built before 1956 may have a higher likelihood of a lead line.
  • Between 1956 and 1986: you should verify your drinking water service line material. A 1955 ordinance required copper water service line to connect to the city water system.
  • After 1986: your water service line should not be made of lead. Lead was federally banned for use in water service lines in 1986.

Locate Your Water Service Line

Locate where the drinking water service line comes into your house or building near the main water shut-off valve. These lines typically enter the home through the floor or wall of a crawlspace or basement. Make sure the line you inspect is not the one used for gas or wastewater, and is not part of the piping used to move water through your home or business.

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Water Service Line Entering Through Home
City of Arvada

Water service line entering through foundation wall

Identify Your Drinking Water Service Line Material

Identify what material your water service line is made of. Be sure to look at the water service line itself and not the connection, glue, or solder.

  • Lead: A dull, silver-gray color that is easily scratched with a coin. Use a magnet - strong magnets will not cling to lead pipes.
  • Galvanized: A dull, silver-gray color. Use a magnet - strong magnets will typically cling to galvanized pipes.
  • Copper: The color of a copper penny.
  • Plastic: White, rigid pipe that is joined to water supply piping with a clamp.
Image
Water Service Line Pipe Material
Environmental Protection Agency

Submit Your Findings

Add your property to the city’s water service line inventory by taking five minutes to complete the following form accessed through the link below:

Questions or comments?

There are several ways to contact city staff:

What If I Think My Water Service Line is Made of Lead?

Contact the city by emailing drinkingwater@bouldercolorado.gov or by calling 303-441-3200 so staff can confirm findings. Another goal of this project is to develop a replacement plan for any lead water service lines that are found.

If it is discovered that your water service line is lead, either by city staff or a customer evaluation, city staff will verify results and notify you within 30 days. The city is currently assessing potential funding assistance options for lead service line replacement if needed. We will continue to update the community on lead service line funding assistance as information becomes available.

Next Steps

The City of Boulder has been working through electronic records review to determine where in-person inspections need to occur. The city will be reaching out to property owners and inspecting water service lines through 2024. Properties that require visual inspection will be notified by city staff.

More information can be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s lead webpage.