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Service Line Inventory Project

Project Overview

As part of Arvada’s commitment to provide safe drinking water to all our residents, we consistently comply with all regulations of the US EPA Safe Drinking Water Act. Due to recent revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule of the regulation, the City of Arvada (City) will be required to create a mapped inventory of water service line materials throughout the City, and make it publicly available by late 2024. 

While the City has records of the system-owned service lines, there is little information available regarding the customer-owned portions. This summer, the City will begin the process of determining customer-owned service line materials and have selected hundreds of homes throughout the City to inspect. If your home is included in the initial survey, you will receive a letter in the mail. 

What is a Water Service Line? 

Service line graphicA water service line is the connection from the 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 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”). As seen in the graphic. 

Project Details

The City must inventory and categorize water service line materials for all homes and buildings within the service area, including the system-owned portion and the customer-owned portion. In order to do this, the City will perform visual inspections of meter pits, take water samples at exterior taps, and collect customer information including pictures of where the service line enters the property. In some cases, the City may need to dig a small hole over the service line, a procedure called “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.

The City is beginning this inventory project by selecting hundreds of properties to survey. If your property was selected, you will receive a letter in the mail explaining the project and requesting your participation. If you do participate in the survey, the City team will share their findings with you and provide guidance about your particular service line materials. 

Timeline

The inventory project will begin Summer 2021. The inventory must be made publicly available by the compliance date. The exact date has not been set but we anticipate it will be later in 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I know what my portion of the service line is made of?

    • 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. Find the section of plumbing that enters your home near the foundation. You can scrape a small section with a coin if it is dirty or discolored.

    • 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. 

    • Still not sure? You can take a picture of the service line and send it, along with the service address to LCR@arvada.org 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. With changes to the USEPA’s regulations, there may be required disclosures if the property is sold. The City recommends that any customer-owned service line that is identified as lead be replaced as soon as possible. 

    • 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 if a lead service line is known to be present. 

  • I can’t afford to replace all my plumbing materials, what should I do?

    • The City anticipates that funding sources may become available once the rule is final. 

  • 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/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?

    • The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment has made resources available on their 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, please see https://www.epa.gov/lead for more information.

Contact

Questions about the Service Line Inventory project may be directed to LCR@arvada.org or 720-898-7800.