WWJ Closeup, April 2018

LARRY LYONS
President
Lyons Well Drilling Co. Inc.
Stockton, Illinois

THE BEST ADVICE I EVER GOT?
I was barely 16 years old and taking flying lessons. After messing up a landing for the third time in a row, my instructor, in exasperation, said “Fly the plane, don’t let it fly you!” From that simple phrase I gained wisdom I still use in my everyday life.

ON MY DESK RIGHT NOW?
Rebuilding a 2000 gpm short-coupled pump for a tire factory. You never know what’s going to come through the door. Also, I’m in the process of passing the company on to younger people (my son and his wife) with newer ideas.

MOST SATISFYING PART OF YOUR JOB?
Being respected for my integrity and my company’s reputation for honesty. We get a number of jobs that others have either failed at or just not performed up to expectations.

MOST IMPORTANT CHALLENGE FACING GROUNDWATER PROFESSIONALS?
Continuing pressure from regulators, government requirements of dubious merit, and people who think we should not be using our God-given abilities to make our lives better.

THE WATER QUALITY QUESTIONS I HEAR MOST FROM CUSTOMERS ARE . . .
Is my water safe, and how do you know? Will I run out of water? Where we do business, we are blessed with an abundant supply of good water, and I’m grateful for that.

BEING EFFECTIVE IN WATER TREATMENT MEANS . . .
Knowing your territory and what kinds of conditions you will encounter. If you have arsenic, plan accordingly. If you have lead, same thing. If nitrates are a problem—again, design your well to mitigate the problem.

YOU’RE IN RARE COMPANY AS YOU SERVED AS NGWA PRESIDENT IN 2004, AND YOUR FATHER, GLEN, DID AS WELL IN 1995. WHAT ADVICE DID YOUR FATHER GIVE YOU?
I was blessed to be trained by some of the smartest people I’ve ever known—my father and grandfather. Dad always told me: “Finish the job 100 percent, don’t get almost done and walk away.”

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