Doug Picatti knows that doing business in the Yakima Valley for nearly a century offers no guarantees. So, the third-generation president of Picatti Brothers well and pump service takes nothing for granted as he reflects on the company’s history and the blessings and challenges faced over the decades.
“The standard held for a 95-year-old company is a little tougher to maintain,” he said, noting that with the name comes certain expectations and reputations to uphold. Doug praises the family founders who insisted on meeting specific criteria and training before joining the business.
“We — all of us — including my father were required to first work outside the company after we got out of college.” he said. “It’s not just about the education, but also the experience.” Doug graduated from Washington State University with an electrical engineering degree and has worked for General Electric and Honeywell. His brother like, also an engineer from WSU, worked for Boeing Aerospace out of college and is the company’s vice president.
Their father, Don, eldest of the second-generation owners, joined the company with his brother Joseph after the two returned from service in World War II and the Korean war. Also, a trained engineer from WSU, Don remains active around the company as a senior engineer and continues to guide and assist his sons as needed.
The Picatti family homesteaded near Hanford and later relocated to Yakima during the Manhattan Project. In 1923, eldest brother Joseph S. worked for the Blackrock Irrigation and Power Company, and Joe would soon become a pump and motor distributor for Allis Chalmers. Joe was joined by brothers George and Steve. George went to WSU. Both he and Joe completed graduate engineering training at Allis Chalmers. Together the trio formed Picatti Brothers in 1928 and thus began a legacy of irrigation planning and water pump service spanning decades.
First and foremost, the Picatti’s want Central Washington to know they are in the business of delivering water, whether it be working on public utility systems, farm irrigation pumps or individual wells. They also supply a patented pump used in fruit packing warehouses nationwide to circulate fresh water. “We’ve had dozens of enterprises over the years,” Doug points out. “But we’re about water. We’re a well and pump business. We move water with more efficiency and more innovative ideas.
– BY: ED REICKELMAN