Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Sam Pistoresi of Madera Pumps enjoys a quiet afternoon on his front porch.
For 40 years, Madera Pumps has been an important part of the Madera community for its commitment to the delivery of one of the most important resources in the Valley — water.
“It was during 1977, and that was another drought period,” owner Sam Pistoresi, 84, said of Madera Pumps’ origin. “Everybody was having to wait a long time for the few pump companies we had and we decided to start another pump company.”
Madera Pumps is owned by Pistoresi and his partner of 40 years, Johnny Deniz. They also have a limited partner, Matt Angell, who Pistoresi said is working towards a full partnership.
Angell said he has been in the water business for 25 years and has been with Madera Pumps, officially for six years. He said the best part of his job is helping people who don’t have water.
When asked about how he learned about pumps and irrigation, Pistoresi, who was born and raised in Madera, said he “never did learn about pumps.”
“I didn’t have to,” he said. “I was one of five that formed Madera Pumps and then we hired people that knew about pumps.”
Pistoresi said his business covers “pretty much anything regarding pumps” and it offers a wide array of products and services, which are listed on the Madera Pumps website, www.maderapumps.com.
Well services include video surveying and analysis, which allows for a video inspection of a well to determine and detect any problems. Cleaning services are also offered to restore a well to its original performance level.
Pump services include removal and installation as well as repairs. Products offered include new and rebuilt pumps, and variable frequency drive pumps.
Madera Pumps primarily serves Madera County, but will go wherever it has business within a limited radius, Pistoresi said.
Angell said water is “one of the most vital things for people to have,” and Madera Pumps takes that very seriously and is not afraid to work 24 hours a day if it has to.
An average work day is busy and to combat that, Pistoresi said Madera Pumps has several crews.
“For a while there, because of this drought, which was unfortunate, we always were behind, but did the best we can by working Saturdays and sometimes Sundays even, to keep the farmers going,” he said.
Pistoresi said Madera Pumps primarily works on deep well pumps for farmers and municipalities, but does domestic work as well and works with cities, counties and irrigation districts.
With this year's increase in rain, Pistoresi said business has slowed down, but he isn’t concerned because ultimately the moisture has benefitted local farmers.
“They need the rain badly,” he said. “We’re happy that we got the rain.”
Pistoresi said Madera Pumps has grown considerably in the past three years and sees it remaining where it is for the next three to five years.
When asked why he thought Madera Pumps managed to stay in business for so long, Pistoresi said he owed it to his “good health for a long period, for one thing” and his “loyal customers, for another.”
Angell also said Madera Pumps owed its longevity to its customers.
“We all live in the community,” he said. “We care about what happens to farmers and our city.”
Selina Falcon is a student in Gary Rice’s community journalism class at California State University, Fresno.