The Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals (IAGP) has announced that through a mutual agreement, the Illinois Water Quality Association (IWQA) has become part of IAGP.
IWQA was founded in the early 1970s to support the professional growth of its members and to provide information to consumers. In recent years the leadership saw that maintaining an all-volunteer managed organization would be impossible to sustain and began a dialog with the state’s water well industry, IAGP.
After two years of discussion, leaders from both groups agreed on terms that would provide mutual benefit to both organizations. “Our core membership recognized the value in having an association to provide industry education, member communications and serve a resource for consumers,” said Willard McKinley, owner of McKinley Water Conditioning and treasurer of the former IWQA. “IAGP had an infrastructure that provided those key elements. Individual relationships between water well contractors and water quality dealers already existed, so it seemed a reasonable avenue to explore.”
“Water quality is an important aspect of the groundwater industry yet many water well drillers and water well pump installers do not offer the service,” said IAGP President Stephen Snelten. “Providing a potable and adequate supply of water isn’t enough for today’s consumers given the technology available. The merger is a win-win outcome.”
Leaders from both groups are excited about the opportunity to work together to provide consumers with a quality end-product. Under the agreement, former IWQA dealer members are now specialty services/water quality division members and former IWQA supplier/manufacturer members are associate members.
Water quality topics will continue to remain a part of the annual IAGP contractor education, and IAGP’s quarterly newsletter, “Aquanotes,” will have a regular water quality section. A representative from the new division will have a liaison position on the IAGP Board.
“The marketplace today is much different than it was ten or twenty years ago. There are a lot more options for today’s consumer,” stated Jim Layten, owner of Kickapoo Drilling in Downs, Ill., and immediate past president of IAGP. “If the residential water well industry is to remain a strong viable industry then we need to expand our services to include more consumer options. Making water quality a membership division is good common sense.”
Source: Illinois Association of Groundwater Professionals