In 1916, the City of Lee's Summit completed the water distribution system, which included a 75,000-gallon water tower, one municipal water facility with a 600,000 gallon reservoir and just five miles of water mains to serve just around 2,000 people. The citizens of Lee’s Summit were thrilled. A water system meant an increase in property values due to the availability of indoor plumbing and easy access to running water. The fires that had devastated the downtown business district would be a thing of the past due to the hydrants and fire protection that the new water system would provide. The newspapers at the time called it “the finest little water system in the west.” And a few years later, in 1925, the City voted to add a public sanitary sewer system – a system that was vital for the health and economic growth of the City.
Over the years as Lee’s Summit has grown, the water system grew with it. More and more lines, facilities, supply, and storage were added to provide this growing community with the water and sewer services it needed to thrive. The 1960 bond elections brought us the Harris Park Standpipe that could now store up to 2.1 million gallons of water. In the 1960s, Western Electric came to town, and even more infrastructure and water supply was needed to accommodate the manufacturing plant and the homes that would come with it. Thus, the City entered into water contracts with the cities of Kansas City and Independence to supply more water to increase services for the current customers and the new ones sure to arrive after the completion of the plant. The 1980s and 1990s brought even more growth to the City, leading the way for system expansions, which included the towers at Ranson and Woods Chapel and the substantial increase of our water supply from Kansas City and Independence to serve the growing City.
Through careful planning, we've ensured the people of Lee’s Summit have consistent and reliable water and sewer services for more than a century. Today, Lee’s Summit Water Utilities serves more than 35,000 customer accounts and boasts a water system of more than 600 miles of water mains, and nearly as many miles of sewer mains. We have 9 water towers and storage facilities that can hold up to 34.7 million gallons and there almost 5,000 strategically placed fire hydrants that are individually tested on a yearly basis by the Water Utilities staff to ensure fire protection for this City. We’ve also ensured a water supply capacity of 32.5 million gallons a day, which more than meets the needs of our current customers and projected growth for years to come.