Scott Belknap Well Drilling offers a legacy of experience
The Belknap family has been in the business of drilling wells for four generations. In 1978, Scott Belknap started his company, Scott Belknap Well Drilling (SBWD), after working with his father, Ken Belknap, and his uncle, Bill Belknap, drilling wells in each of their respective businesses. In the early 1900s, Scott’s grandfather, Bert Belknap, drilled some of the first city wells in the Central Valley.
Today, SBWD is operated by Scott Belknap and his two sons: Scott Belknap, Jr., who oversees the drilling operations, and Mark Belknap, who runs the back office support. The company specializes in drilling and servicing wells.
For the first 35 years, SBWD was a very small family business. However, the most recent drought pushed the company to grow, almost doubling in size. In 2014, the company only had two rigs. Throughout 2015, 13 rigs and many new employees were added to the operation. Customers were desperate for service and the family wanted to help.
“Five years ago, drilling really became a focus of the business again and my brother began his training,” Mark Belknap explained. “Today, drilling a well is very scientific. It takes about half a day to drill a domestic well; agricultural wells take a couple days.”
Technology has advanced the industry and offered improved equipment, making the process much more automated. Recently, SBWD rolled out new technology and equipment that allows them to clean and deepen existing wells. When drilling, they are constantly sampling water.
The company’s territory is from Stanislaus to Kern counties, the west side of the Valley, to San Luis Obispo County and over to the mountains on the east side of the Valley. When SBWD moves into a new area, they will call other companies and owners to get an idea of what drilling is like in the region.
It is a priority for the company to understand customer needs. SBWD works to get their customers the water they require. Additionally, SBWD works hand-in-hand with irrigation companies and other businesses to make sure the outcome will work well for the customer.
“We are always very up front with customers,” said Mark. “Our reputation is everything to us; we would rather pass on a well we aren’t very confident on. We give our customers assurance that we will find the right well for their needs and budget,” Mark continued. “We’ve purchased the equipment and drillers, so now we’re doing the marketing and getting the word out about our equipment and manpower to drill on a quick basis.”
The company is unique because of its reputation. They want all customers to be happy with the work that’s been done. “We provide excellent service and we work with customers to get solutions for any limitations there may be,” said Mark. “In this drought, we will go back and do what it takes to make sure the customer is satisfied.”
Even though SBWD has grown substantially over the last several years, it is still very family oriented. “One of the benefits is we are a family company,” said Mark. “Family is valued.”
Agriculture is a big part of their business. SBWD became a Friends of the Family Farm premium member because the company is directly related to agriculture. About 50 percent of its business is agricultural and the remaining 50 percent is rural residential. Additionally, the family farms citrus, almonds, walnuts and cherries in Fresno and Tulare counties.
Learn more about SBWD at www.sbwelldrilling.com, or by contacting 559-591-WELL (9355).
Friends of the Family Farm Spotlight Profile: Ag Today, January 17
By: Courtney Sorensen