For many years the people in and around what was to become Blairstown relied on streams, springs, and hand dug wells as a source of water. That was all going to change. With an ever increasing population of people, cattle, and other domestic stock, pollution could and did create problems. At the same time, Blair Academy's Campus was expanding and the lack of water, especially under pressure, was a lesson that was learned from past losses.
In 1889, John Blair, as was his style, decided to rectify that problem. First, he sunk wells near the mill and had pumps installed to pump the water to a stand pipe erected on Academy Hill. This not only provided a reserve, but also increased water pressure. The pumps were operated by the same under shot water wheel which provided power to the mill. The water works functioned even better than expected and, because of its capacity, water was made available to the residents and businesses of the village.
By the time Blair Academy was almost 50 years old, increased enrollment led to a need for improved services. Laundry, then done on campus, was occupying a building was now needed for instruction. Blair moved the laundry to the site of the electric generating station, in Paulina. An artesian aquifer was discovered, pipes installed, and an improved water works supplanted the existing
one. The new water works pumps in excess of 140 gallons per minute, and over 70,000 gallons of water a day providing service to over 190 customers.