The first pumping station and a wooden storage tank were constructed in 1880, in response to demand for water service to the hill district. The pumping station was built on the corner of 8th and Bluff in the basement of the Lorimer Hotel. The system was developed further with the addition of an artesian well and construction of a pump station at the foot of 8th St. to lift water to the new 400,000 gallon standpipe constructed on Delhi St. in 1889. Remnants were found at the 8th Street location, during excavation work for Highway 61 in 1989.
The first Eagle Point Plant pumping station was built in 1890. It was equipped with two-2,000,000 gallon per day (MGD) steam driven pumps and two 100-horsepower boilers. The primary sources of water for the plant were two 1,300 foot deep artesian wells.
Despite these improvements, the water corporation was unable to meet the increasing demand for water that accompanied the city's rapid growth in the 1890s. The owners were unwilling to invest in the critically needed expansion of the Eagle Point Plant and in 1896 sold the waterworks corporation to a second group of businessmen.
The new owners enlarged the building and added a 5 MGD Holly Steam Pump, a new generator and a 125-horsepower boiler. However, the plant was still not able to adequately meet the city's growth and ever expanding demand for water.