DENVER (AP) — Denver’s water utility said it will speed up the removal of lead pipes from homes across the metro area.
Denver Water expects the program to launch in 2020 and take 15 years at a cost of $500 million, Colorado Public Radio reported.
The public agency estimated there are between 64,000 and 84,000 lead service lines in the system.
Denver Water said it committed to remove at least 4,500 lines annually under an agreement with the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Lead exposure can lead to kidney and brain damage as well as developmental issues for children.
Homes built prior to 1951 are more likely to have lead service lines, Denver Water said.
The utility proposed the program to the EPA in July and without the approved plan the removal could take 50 years to remove the lead pipes, Denver Water CEO Jim Lochhead said.