Simpson Well & Pump Company....servicing all your water needs for three generations

About our Company

Serving Lockport for 83 Years

Sherman Simpson began Simpson Well and Pump Company in 1927. Roger Simpson is the grandson of the founder and the third generation of the Simpson family to operate this company in Lockport. Kenneth, Roger’s Dad, ran the business in Lockport, too. Roger was trained in the family business during junior high and high school, working after school and weekends. Kenneth died in 1987 and Roger became the owner.

Although Roger found it hard to continue without his dad, Roger kept the family business going. Through the years Roger expanded the business to include many services beyond well and pump services. Water conditioning and drinking water systems are a specialty of our business. Roger can assess and customize a water system for you that includes water softeners, iron removers, and drinking water systems. 

Help maintain your investments by controlling damaging effects of rust, lime, and the minerals often found in hard well water. Corrosion and stains can wreak havoc on faucets, lavatory fixtures, and water heaters. Even watering landscape can produce water stains and mineral deposits on your outdoor surfaces. Roger sells units that can help alleviate this problem. A system personalized to the needs of each customer is a specialty of Simpson Well and Pump.

This article appeared in the Homer Horizon during our 80th Anniversary

These roots run deep

Homer well business marks 80th anniversary

by Jennie Korb

August 24, 2007

 

80 Years ago, Homer Glen resident Roger Simpson was trying to find a well that his company, Simpson Well &Pump Co., Inc., had been hired to cap off.

The well was marked on the map, but its location left him scratching his head.

As it turned out, the reason he couldn't find the well right away is because it was in a nuclear bomb shelter. This concrete vault, 10 feet below the ground near 139th Street and Archer, was also equipped with an air filtration system and a phone, and was designed and built to withstand a one mile hit. The shelter was torn up about four or five years ago, but recalling that unusual find still makes Simpson light up.

In large part, it's what's beneath the earth that keeps Simpson and his workers busy, and what has kept his family-owned company in business for 80 years.

 

Eight decades of history

 

Simpson's grandfather, Sherman Simpson, started Simpson Well 8: Pump Co., Inc., in 1927. According to Roger, Sherman came from Grenell, Iowa, and learned the business while working for J.P. Miller Artesian Well Company, which was in Chicago. At the time, Sherman and his wife, Marie, lived in a small apartment over what used to be the Macklin Garage, a car repair and Ford dealership in Lockport.

 

Roger's dad, Kenneth, the family's only son, helped Sherman from the time he was a young boy.  "He followed his dad in the family business and continued the company when Sherman died," Roger said.

 

Although working the family business was all Kenneth knew as a career, he joined the Army during WWII and served in Alaska, where he worked on the Alcan Highway.

 

Roger began learning the business as a child, too.  During junior high and high school, he worked after school and on the weekends. When he was enrolled in his freshman year of college, it came time to make a decision about whether to join the family business full-time. Kenneth began to have serious back problems, and eventually was unable to work.

 

By then, Roger was involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, and he could engineer and supervise many of the jobs, he said, adding that he learned everything he knew from his father.

 

"There's not really a trade school where you can go to learn this," he said.

Roger made the tough decision to quit college to keep the business afloat, which he did while also working another full-time job at Texaco Oil Refinery.

"Roger learned to work in the dark with lights shining off the back of the rig. Eating dinner at 9 and 10 p.m. became the norm," said Roger's wife, Pam, who has been very involved with the business for years.

 

The Texaco refinery closed in the 1980s, and Roger was offered a job transfer to Texas. His parents still depended on the family business for their income, and though the business was growing, it still wasn't big enough to support two families.

 

Roger decided to stay in the Homer Glen area, and he began working for Commonwealth Edison. By this time, he and Pam were married and had two young daughters.

 

"These were challenging days, to say the least," Pam said.

 

 When Kenneth was diagnosed with cancer in 1987, Roger quit Com Ed and bought the business from his mom and dad.

 

Expanding the business

 

Roger said back when his grandfather started the business, there was no city water being pumped out to the suburbs.

"They were pretty much just drillers, and made sure people got their basic water," he said.

 

But over the past 20 years, in addition to keeping the welt and pump business strong, Roger has expanded Simpson Well and Pump's repertoire to include services well beyond that.

 

Pam explained that Roger studied his clientele, and saw a need in the area for water softeners, iron removers and drinking water systems, especially with alt the new construction and remodeling of existing structures going on in Will, Cook, DuPage counties and the surrounding areas.

People were interested in controlling the damage caused by rust, lime and minerals often found in hard well water, which can harm water faucets, toilets and water heaters.

 

"I saw an opportunity to go into water treatment, and it's now more than half of my business," Roger said.

 

Pam said Roger's training in instrumentation at Texaco and Com Ed segued nicely into helping him understand the water conditioning equipment, testing and analysis.

 

Pam said as the area has grown in recent years, many people who are used to Lake Michigan water find private or community wells quite different.

 

Simpson Welt and Pump can install compact, affordable under-the-sink drinking water systems, which provide 10 to 100 gallons every day. Though Homer Glen has to have paperwork certifying that its water is safe, lake water still contains minerals, which can be eliminated via a reverse osmosis process, Simpson explained.

 

"There are alternatives to everyone going out and buying $1 bottles of water," he said, adding that the water bottling industry isn't even regulated, so people could just be buying processed tap water.

 

The reverse osmosis system costs about $450 to install, and just $40 a year to maintain, Simpson said.

Other specialized systems Simpson Welt & Pump installs can provide water for bathing, laundry, watering and drinking, Pam Simpson said.

Other aspects of Roger's business now include irrigation systems and well-sealing.

 

Abandoned, out-of-service welts can pose a water table contamination risk, and already Roger has filled up and capped off 85-plus welts for the Illinois Tollway Authority related to the work on 1-355. About a half-dozen of those were hand-dug by European immigrants before the turn of the century, he said.

"We're sealing up wells where we used to service them-·that's called progress," Roger said.

Attention to service

 

Pam proudly pointed out that although the business has grown and changed, her husband continues to engineer and coordinate alt of the projects; he's even present on every job site, doing much of the work himself, she said.

"Where do you find that nowadays? For 80 years and for three generations, Simpson Well and Pump Company have delivered excellent service to their customers," Pam said.

 

That's evident by the fact that a good number of Roger's customers are third generation, having done business with his father and grandfather.

 

The business's continued success is due in no small part to who Roger is, too. Pam said she admires her husband's compassionate nature and giving heart.

" I can't even tell you how many times I have seen him cut his bills down when he learns that he is doing work for a single mom, someone who has a serious illness, a widower--and always for his neighbors," she said. "Elderly customers are drawn to him, and he will even spend extra time at their homes doing odd jobs for free to help them out. I have stacks of cards and letters from people who tell him how refreshing and encouraging it is to find such an honest, helpful person in business and someone with so much integrity."

 

The family business might not stay in the family forever; Roger and Pam's two daughters have "gone in different directions," they said.

Meanwhile, Roger is trying to do the best he can to provide his customers with the best possible water.

 

"It's taking what people have, and doing something better with it," he said.

Roger added that although people take water for granted, especially here in the Midwest United States where more than 70 percent of the world's fresh water is found, water is not an endless resource. The average person uses 80 to 100 gallons per day, and having worked in the business since he was 14 or 15, he's only seen the water table go down·-never back up.

It can take thousands of years to replenish the supply, he said.

 

'Roger Simpson, the president of Simpson Well ft Pump Co., Inc., can be reached by calling (708) 301-0826.