Tom Schroeder was first introduced to the water well industry during his high school years. He began drilling wells full time in 1978 but his education in the field started much earlier. Beginning at the age of 4, Tom acquired a broad knowledge of electrical and plumbing skills while helping his father, Pete, a self-employed electrician/plumber. Tom's first experience pulling a pump came the hard way at age 13 with his dad using a homemade tripod boom and a block and tackle. While the work ethic remains the same the repair process has become much more modernized.
Tom started drilling wells in 1978, a year after graduating high school. He began working for Lowell Barnes on June 5th and after working there for a year, gaining considerable knowledge of the water well business, Tom was joined by Walt Heisterberg. For the next eleven years, they traveled the Missouri countryside anywhere within a 100-mile radius of Cole Camp drilling water wells, oil sand exploration, construction pier holes, and some of the earliest geothermal drilling done in Missouri. Many a long day in the extreme heat and cold were spent while the pair honed their drilling skills. During the winter months, Tom also helped Ron Roberts and Paul Schumacher at R and S Drilling. Having the privilege to work with different employers also helped Tom gain a broader base of drilling knowledge. In 1990, when Walt Heisterberg negotiated the purchase of Barnes Well Drilling from its original owner, Lowell Barnes, the decision was made to move on without Tom. Tom's next career move would be to venture out on his own. With financing options limited for a minimum wage laborer, Tom started small, dipping into his savings to purchase a 1969 B-32 Smeal pump hoist and tools from Braden Pump Service in Liberty, Missouri in April of 1991.
In 1991, Tom made another decision that would boost his knowledge of water systems by enrolling in the Environmental Resources Program at Crowder College, Neosho Missouri. He graduated in 1992 at the top of his class with an Associate of Applied Science in Environmental Health Degree in Water/Wastewater Technology. While attending Crowder, Tom commuted back and forth from Cole Camp to Neosho taking service calls when he could, all the while still maintaining his attendance to classes at Crowder College. It was at Crowder where he learned everything there was to learn about pumps and pumping systems. He graduated with honors at the top of his class in May of 1992 with a 4.0 GPA. After returning home, he increased his advertising and over the next couple of years, as word spread, the work was rolling in.