Walt Bannon Drilling


Walt Bannon Drilling has always been family owned and operated. The company was founded by Walt Bannon in 1936. Walt’s wife Juanita ran the office, and as soon as any of their children could take a phone message or see over a steering wheel, they were put to work too.

Walt and Juanita’s youngest daughter Sunny helped in the office after school, weekends and summers. After college in the early 70’s Sunny and husband Russell Duncanson returned to work in the family business. In 1982, Russell and Sunny purchased the business allowing Walt and Juanita to retire after 45 years. Chris Duncanson, Russell and Sunny’s only son has also worked in the family business his entire life. Chris started pulling stem and digging trenches on summer breaks from school when he was 12. When Chris graduated high school he started working full time. Chris took on more and more responsibility of the business from his father Russell. In January of 2016, Chris purchased the company from his parents, allowing Russell and Sunny to retire after 34 years of ownership. Chris is now the third generation owner of Walt Bannon Drilling.

The business was originally based in Mariposa County bringing affordable water to many foothill communities. In 1969, the operations were moved to the town of Oakhurst to be more centrally located for their service areas of Eastern Mariposa, Madera and Fresno Counties.

Early on, Walt saw the value in accurate recording keeping and well log information. Today the company hosts the most documented information on local wells and water systems with records dating to the early 50's. These records are not only a valued source of information for individuals, researchers and government agencies, but a proven aid for determining well site locations and estimating well depth and flow.

In addition to the family members, the company employs several full and part-time employees, who enjoy a group health plan, holiday and vacation benefits.

Chris continues to follow his grandfather Walt’s priority to customer satisfaction and commitment to providing safe, reliable water at an affordable price.