Meadowbrook Water Company was founded in 1955 by Fred Walker Sr. in order to serve a small subdivision he had put in. It originally served 55, then 98 rental homes. Fred Walker Jr. played an integral part in helping his father with the infrastructure of the fledgling company. A young David Walker graded the land, hauled gravel from Bear Creek, laid pipe and helped pave the new streets.
Ownership of Meadowbrook was transferred to Fred Jr., his wife, his brother, and his brother’s wife in December 1965. Fred’s brother lived out-of-state so Fred ran the company, and it began to grow.
Most of the land in the Meadowbrook service area was originally agricultural land and dairy farms. As the years went by, many farmers subdivided their land and some of the dairies closed down so that more and more subdivisions could be put in. Fred was able to accommodate the growth by installing over 19 miles of pipe and three more wells between 1965 and 1981. During those years all services were charged on a flat rate depending on size of the lot served, and each customer was billed every other month.
Fred continued to work at the water company every day until he was 89 years old, although the company was incorporated in 1979 and most of the stock had been transferred to his children starting in 1984.
In 2003, David Walker started coming to Merced to help his father read the only 30 or so commercial meters that had been put in. Soon after, David and Fred began a five year process of installing meters on all service locations.
Shortly thereafter, Fred became ill and David took over running the company. Fred’s health declined further, and he passed away in 2006. David, with the backing of his siblings, continued to run Meadowbrook.
New subdivisions continued to spring up, and by 2005, Meadowbrook was serving more than 1600 homes and businesses. Still a small company, it strives to continue serving the community with the reliability and quality expected of a large one.