DENVER (CBS4)– More than one million people living in the Denver metro area have been warned about possible lead contamination in their tap water.

High levels of lead were discovered in a routine check of the water system.

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Denver Water said the problem could exist in every older neighborhood in the Denver metro area and that it is especially true for any home that was built in the 1950s.

The problem is traced to older lead-based piping that exists in those older homes.

“We know Denver’s water is clean and safe and that’s what is going out to homes, but the lead plumbing inside can affect the quality coming out of the tap,” said Denver Water spokeswoman Stacy Chesney.

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Lead concentration was detected in eight out of 60 homes, with one home testing four times higher than federal standards allow.

Lead poisoning can lead to many health problems, including brain damage and kidney failure.

Denver Water is advising homeowners to take extra precautions including:

  • Let faucets run for several seconds to flush out lead.
  • Only draw cold water for drinking, cooking and preparing baby formula.
  • Use a filtration system.

The Colorado Department of Health and Environment said reports of health problems due to lead have been on the rise for years.

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Concerns over problems with lead content in the water should be taken as seriously as problems associated with lead paint.