Kelly Rivera stood out in front of the Living Water pumping site in a wind that flicked sand in his eyes. “I came up with this idea a few years ago,” Rivera explained. Rivera said that he saw an opportunity when he witnessed the city flush excess water from the water main near his home. “It occurred to me that there was an opportunity to sell this water and benefit all parties involved because there wasn’t a water delivery site on the north end of town. This offers a convenience for everyone.”
Rivera noted that Trinidad had water pumping businesses on the south side of town, but not on the north side. Living Water’s north side location meant that customers on that side of town would have shorter trips to obtain water.
Living Water’s delivery site is simple: a large pumping hose hangs down from a crossbeam that is used to pump water into the plastic water tanks that are ubiquitous to arid climates, and an ATM-sized computerized terminal. This computerized terminal manages the dispensing and payment for potable water at Rivera’s site.
Rivera has his own truck, a white Dodge Ram 5500 with a translucent water container, beneath the pumping hose. When Rivera is not managing the Living Water filling station, he operates a local towing and wrecking business, Kelly’s Towing and Recovery. Because of the automation, the water pumping business meshes well with his towing company.
Because Living Water’s pumping station is automated, customers can show up any time - day or night - to fill up their water tanks without an appointment. Using security equipment, not only can Rivera make sure that no one is damaging his machine, but he can also remotely help customers if they have problems pumping water. Rivera explained that the terminal allows customers to pay on-site, in cash or credit cards, or via a monthly bill using pay4water.com. “This is a different experience for people,” Rivera explains, “because there aren’t as many amenities in a small town; this water station is our way of helping people.”