ISCO Industries was founded in 1962 as the 'Irrigation Supply
Company.' Jim Kirchdorfer, Sr. began the company in the same
location as his father's hardware store in Louisville, Kentucky. At
that time, Jim Kirchdorfer owned and operated a contracting company
called Kirchdorfer Irrigation Company. Specializing in golf
courses, the company installed the first automatic irrigation
system in the state. Then in the early 1970s, Kirchdorfer
felt the need to diversify Irrigation Supply Co. He entered the
municipal supply industry and started referring to the company as
HDPE Brings New Opportunities for ISCO
In 1975, Phillips Petroleum approached Kirchdorfer to
become a municipal distributor for a new product called Driscopipe,
a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe. Kirchdorfer immediately
recognized the potential of the product for applications such as
sewer sliplining, force main sewers and stream crossings for water
lines. He accepted the Driscopipe distributorship and in the same
year became a distributor for McElroy Fusion Equipment. ISCO
experienced tremendous success with Driscopipe. Kirchdorfer, along
with the local Phillips Driscopipe representative, Jim Fletcher,
frequently visited engineering offices to discuss the unique
advantages of the pipe.
A critical year for ISCO was 1980. The Driscopipe product line
had changed the business immensely. While the irrigation business
remained strong, Kirchdorfer made the decision to phase out the
commodity products that a typical municipal supply house carried.
Kirchdorfer hired Jim Fletcher as a salesperson dedicated solely to
the sales of Driscopipe. ISCO expanded sales into the industrial
market and added a fabrication plant for HDPE fittings.
In the 1980s, the company's first international project was to
supply pipe to a salt mine in Saudi Arabia. Demand for ISCO's
products grew. Kirchdorfer further increased his portfolio of
businesses by building an 18-hole public golf course, which later
led to a total of four public courses in a 100-mile radius.
In the 1990s, to meet increased customer demand, ISCO purchased
the assets of a company in Missouri. This included the Canadian and
U.S. patent for Snap-Tite®. This was an ideal product
for sliplining deteriorated highway culverts.
A Family Business
Also in the early 90s, both of Jim Kirchdorfer's sons,
Jimmy and Mark, joined him in the fast-growing business. Later, in
January of 1995, Jimmy Kirchdorfer, Jr. took over as general
manager of ISCO, and is now the CEO. In 1998 Mark Kirchdorfer
became the director of operations, eventually becoming COO.
In 1992, ISCO purchased a McElroy 65-inch fusion machine,
which at the time was the largest transportable fusion machine in
the U.S. To meet demand, ISCO built a larger HDPE fabrication plant
in Louisville. Expansion in the late 1990s also included the
building of a manufacturing facility in South Carolina and opening
a new distribution site in Michigan to better serve customers in
At the beginning of 1999, the company officially changed its
name to ISCO Industries, LLC. Looking to expand into the Southeast,
ISCO acquired Fluid Controls, a Driscopipe and McElroy distributor
based in Alabama.
The Fluid Controls acquisition positioned ISCO as the nation's
largest distributor of HDPE piping products. ISCO also opened a
distribution facility in Alabama as well as sales locations in
Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Northern
Other accomplishments for ISCO in 1999 include Factory Mutual
(FM) approval for fabricated fittings, as well as the purchase of
the patented Buttress-Loc pipe joining system.
The New Millennium Brings Further Growth
In 2000 ISCO expanded into the west coast to market its
Snap-Tite® product line and broke ground on a new
Snap-Tite® production facility in California. At this
time, ISCO also enhanced its South Carolina and the Alabama
distribution sites to handle the increased business.
On January 1, 2001, ISCO acquired Fife Industrial Pipe Company
from U.S. Filter. Fife was a distributor and fabricator of
HDPE pipe in Florida. Fife brought additional fabrication capacity,
a facility in the large Florida market, additional fusion
equipment, a strong reputation in the state, and a group of
talented professionals with years of experience in the HDPE piping
Responding to customer demand, ISCO continued to add more
distribution facilities: one near Chicago, one in Oklahoma (through
an acquisition of Cooper Wholesale), near St. Louis (from acquiring
Poly-Fab), in Houston (formerly a Maskell-Robbins branch) and
Colorado. ISCO also acquired National Waterworks (formerly US
Filter Distribution), which had locations in California and the
Portland area in Washington.
ISCO Receives Recognition
For eight consecutive years, ISCO received the honor of
being a 'Fast 50' business company in the Louisville area by
Business First Magazine. In 2002, ISCO was named the
16th Fastest Growing Company; in 2003, 35th; in 2004, 31st; in
2005, 7th; in 2006, 13th; in 2007, 11th; in 2008, 40th; and 37th in
Also in June 2004, Ernst and Young names ISCO Industries
'Entrepreneur of the Year'. ISCO won in the Manufacturing Division
for Kentucky and the Southern Ohio region.
A Presidential Honor
Early in February 2004, ISCO received a very important
call from the White House - to host President George W. Bush in a
discussion about the economy. The President arrived and took the
stage, surrounded by more than 60 ISCO employees seated in chairs
behind him. James Kirchdorfer, Sr. welcomed the President, who
returned the favor by praising ISCO's steady growth and success
over the past few years - due in part to his administration's
Just after the February visit from the President of the
United States, ISCO purchased two more branches from
Maskell-Robbins in Arizona and Utah.
ISCO continued to expand by opening up new locations and
distribution facilities across the country, as well as in Canada
One notable expansion included relocating its fabrication
facility from a downtown Louisville location (where it resided for
14 years) to the southwest industrial park in Louisville called
Riverport. The new facility is five times larger than ISCO's
previous facility and allows for more fabricating, storage and
ISCO also purchased Fraser Mining and Industrial Supply in March
of 2007, which had a 10,000 square foot facility site on 10 acres
of property located within the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
In January 2009 ISCO acquired Wright Water and Waste in Ohio.
This waterworks house helped ISCO to further diversify its products
In February 2010, ISCO officially opened a new distribution
facility in West Virginia. With 55,000 square feet of space, this
facility is now ISCO's largest. In April 2010, ISCO also completed
an update of its Houston facility.
Today ISCO has expanded to include more than 30 facilities
In January 2013, ISCO announced that is moved to an
Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
With humble beginnings in a family hardware store, ISCO has seen
tremendous growth over the years. Today, ISCO is a total piping
solutions provider headquartered at its original location in
Louisville, KY. ISCO continues to be a worldwide leader in HDPE
piping products while expanding into new areas of piping solutions
for various industries and applications.