Lexington, Illinois Water Works

July 2006


     Over the years as Lexington grew so did the need for water and how to supply enough water for the town.  We all know of the water tower that we have now, but do you know how it was developed over the years?  Found in the Bloomington Pantagraph Dated Wednesday Morning, October 31, 1894 was this article:




Work was begun Monday on the water works tower at Lexington.  Seven car loads of stone have arrived there for the foundation and the eight-inch water mains are being distributed along Main street.  The contact calls for the completion of the tower and laying the mains on Main street, from the tower, west to the C. & A. railroad, by December 25, 1894.  The tower will be erected on the Eson lots, just south of the park.


In an article written in 1947 Lexington was building a new water plant, every home in Lexington would get soft water when the project was completed.  This project included a new brick building, water softening equipment, new well, new pumping equipment and extension of mains so that water would be within reach of every one in Lexington.  The main reason for the extension of mains was a safeguard against fire.  It was estimated that the project would take eight months, and the new water rates would go up to 75 cents per thousand gallons, with a $1.50 a month minimum.  Mayor Elson stated, “Under the new rates, water will cost the average user the price of a coke or 5cents a day.”


In an article written in 1966 the city starts talking about needing a new tower storage and that something would need to be done in the next 5 years, due to the fact the citizens in Lexington were using more water.


This picture was taken around 1970 and shows the standpipe that existed at that time.


In an article written in June 1970 Lexington was to vote on a new tower.  Four essential reasons for doing this at the time were given before the vote.  1.) The average use of water was approximately half again as much per person as when the present tower was built.  This was probably because most people now had automatic washing machines and other things in which home owners were using more water.  2.) More homes and customers were connected to the water system.  3.) The assessed valuation of the city from 1946 to 1969 had more than tripled.  So the amount of property to protect and the demands upon the water system is increasing yearly.  4.) One of the most important public services is a good and adequate supply of water.  It was decided that a storage capacity would be 200,000 gallons.  The location would be on City property south – west of the treatment plant.

          The Lexington people voted on Tuesday, June 9, 1970 with the polls closing at 6 p. m.  The vote was 175 for and 98 against.



           Lexington – Work began for the foundation of the new Lexington water tower October 19, 1970.  To date work has progressed from digging operation to construction of the forms and pouring of concrete of the reinforced concrete foundation.


                 Here is a picture of how it looked.  



  This picture was found with the caption:


          Lexington – getting ready for a Moon shot here in Lexington?  It appears to be just that but in reality it is the erecting of the city's new water tower.  The work is being done by the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company and is progressing steadily even though temperatures have been below zero for the past several days.



         This picture was found with the following story:  


          Lexington April 15, 1971 newspaper, the construction and painting of the Lexington water tower are now complete and the only thing remaining to be done before using, is the addition of the water in the tank.  The tower and the tank are painted in aluminum color and the wording Lexington is black on two sides of the tank.



Lexington – May 2006

Here is how the water tower now looks.



















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