Is There Lead in Denver Water?
Lead in Denver water is a legitimate concern. As of 2018, 90% of lead samples collected in Denver metro showed contamination levels below 11 parts per billion.
Lead contamination at less than 15 parts per billion is the current federal water quality regulation standard.
What’s a “Safe” Lead Level in Drinking Water?
There is no “safe” level of lead in drinking water. Here is a quote from the Environmental Working Group that lays it out clearly:
Recent EPA modeling suggests that lead concentrations in the 3.8 to 15 ppb (parts per billion) range put a formula-fed baby at risk of elevated blood lead levels.
In 2009, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment set a public health goal level of 0.2 ppb for lead in drinking water to protect against even subtle IQ loss in children. (Emphasis added.)
Following California’s lead means Denver needs to drop their lead levels from 11 parts per billion to 0.2 parts per billion.
This drastic reduction offers infants and small children the best chance at a normal, happy life.
Are the Effects of Lead in Denver Water Permanent?
Yes. Lead exposure is particularly risky to children under the age of six.
Their brains are still developing and the blood-brain barrier is not fully formed.
An increase of 1 microgram per deciliter of lead in blood correlated with a decrease of one IQ point. (ewg.org)
This reduction in IQ can lead to learning challenges very quickly, setting a child on a difficult path.
How to Remove Lead from Denver’s Water
The longest lasting fix is to remove all lead-contaminated piping from the water supply.
This will take continued effort by civic leaders not to mention an enormous amount of money.
Funds from national infrastructure bills will eventually make their way to individual states.
This a long, expensive process, but a worthy one.
What You Can Do Today
There are home water filtration systems you can set up within a day that will keep your family safe.
Systems vary from a couple thousand dollars down to a few hundred with similar results.
If you’re interested in learning more about home water filters, please check out our Water Filters page.
There you will find our top recommendations for filtering out lead as well as the majority of other harmful contaminants in your water.
Want to See What’s In Your Water?
To find out how many contaminants you have in your home’s drinking water, you can use the search bar below:
Simply type in the city you want water quality data for and we’ll show you what you can filter out.
Or you can pick from the list of Colorado cities here: Colorado Water Quality