We love water. We enjoy drinking it, being near it and immersed in it. We use water for work and we use it for play. It’s one of the most prevalent substances on the planet and necessary for the support of life. Quite simply, water is one of our most valuable resources. Without safe, clean, reliable sources of water we cannot live and communities cannot thrive.
This week, Lee’s Summit Water Utilities, along with the American Water Works Association and other utilities across the nation, are celebrating Drinking Water Week to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives.
Generally, as long as it comes out of our tap and goes down the drain, many of us don’t give water a second thought. But there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Lee’s Summit Water Utilities to deliver safe and reliable water, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Currently, Lee’s Summit operates a water system composed of more than 603 miles of water mains for distribution, 5,000 hydrants for fire protection, 12,000 valves for control, four pumping stations to sustain supply and approximately 35 million gallons of water storage capacity. All of which is utilized to provide drinking water and fire protection services throughout our community.
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When the Lee’s Summit’s water system was built in 1916, the utility could supply up to 75,000 gallons a day – an amount the newspaper articles from the time deemed an “endless flow.” But as the city has grown and technology has advanced, so have our water needs. Through foresight and extensive planning of numerous improvements over the last 100 years, today Lee’s Summit Water Utilities has the ability to supply 32.5 million gallons a day – a supply that is estimated to meet the economic development needs and projected growth of the city through 2045.
To address the needs of aging water infrastructure, the city has made it a priority to make strategic investments in our system while also maintaining some of the most competitive rates within the metropolitan area. Since implementation of the Neighborhood Water Main Replacement Program in 2012, the utility has replaced more than 15 miles of water mains and plans to replace another 16 miles of water mains through 2020 in order to minimize the risk of unplanned interruptions in customer water services.
Additionally, Lee’s Summit’s water consistently exceeds federal water quality standards. Our technicians collect water samples on a weekly basis throughout the city to ensure every drop is safe for you and yours.
None of this would be possible without the more than 50 dedicated water utilities employees who take the responsibility of maintaining our customer’s confidence to provide safe and reliable water and wastewater services very seriously. For us, it’s not just a job, it’s a privilege.