Illinois ground water pros celebrate 75th anniversary.

Andy Wiesenhofer (l) of Reynolds Well Drilling, Springfield, Ill., visits with Eddie Broussard at the Drillers Service Inc. booth.
The Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals (IAGP) celebrated its 75 years in the industry Feb. 20-21 in Rockford, Ill. And it did so in style as the occasion of the group’s diamond anniversary seemed to infuse an invigorated sense of purpose and determination.

Attendance was strong at this year’s show – 254 registrants. That’s a significant increase over last year’s show, which took place on the heels of a nasty winter storm. There also were a few more exhibitors on hand to show off some of the latest products and services available to the drilling industry.

Andy Schumacher (l-r) hosts Doug Gentry and Don Snyder of Peerless Midwest, Mishawaka, Ind., at the Baroid Drilling Fluids booth.
A busy opening day began with National Ground Water Association certification exams being administered inside and a directional drilling demonstration taking place outside. Ted Stone (H.I. Stone & Sons, DeKalb, Ill.) handled the HDD presentation.

“At the annual members meeting,” reports executive director Sue Bohenstengel, “we had a good dialogue on some of the things that are on the horizon in terms of regulation and code changes and meeting the growing demand for closed-loop systems. We want to improve the coordination among the water wells and the closed-loop heat wells to avoid setbacks such as contamination of wells.”

Members of the invaluable Ladies Auxiliary take a break.
Another positive development announced is the establishment of a scholarship program. Open to employees and family of IAGP members, two $500 scholarships will be made available to students pursuing a ground water-related education.

Representing Team Beanland (Beanland & Son Drilling, Anna, Ill.): Glenn, Logan, Whitney and Emily.
Also at the meeting, three new life members were announced. Gerald Rosenquist (Rosenquist & Sons, Lindenwood, Ill.), Dean Albrecht (Albrecht Well Drilling, Ohio, Ill.) and George Lutes (whose firm was recently sold) are the well-deserving recipients of that honor, having given a lifetime of exemplary service to the industry, in general, and to the IAGP, in particular, and are now retired or semi-retired.

Mike Gross (l) of E.E. Gross Well Drilling Inc., Zion, Ill., presents George Lutes with his life membership award.
Another highlight of the show was the McEllhiny Lecture making a tour stop at the show. “2003 – The Year of the Professional” was presented by David Hanson of Design Water Technologies, a man who could go to Jupiter and back with his frequent flier miles.

Details for the 2004 IAGP show will be available soon; we’ll pass that information along as soon as it becomes available.