Water conservation starts with using to the fullest whatever water we access. A gray water recycling system helps us achieve just that. Installing one in your home can seem complicated, but there are companies that specialize in helping you set up a system that suits your needs.

Ed Begley Jr. of Planet Green's Living With Ed just completed installing a system in his home. Check out which company he went with, and learn more about installing a system in your home.

What is a Gray Water System?

Gray water sounds more gross than it is. It's actually water that is safe to reuse, such as what runs down the drain during a shower, or left-over dish water. As people become increasingly aware of how precious little fresh water we have on earth, and how quickly we're plowing through our reserves, gray water systems are getting more attention.

A gray water system is a set-up in which all that useful water is captured, cleaned, and used for things like landscape irrigation or flushing the toilet. Some systems are simple hacks, with clever DIYers setting up pipes that run water, say, from a kitchen sink, through a purifying filter such as a bucket of sand, and out to the herb garden. However, because not everyone wants to hack their plumbing and because many city ordinances would probably frown on such a system, for most people a more elaborate system is the way to go.

If you're interested in maximizing the use you get from your water, minimizing your water bill, and shrinking your overall water footprint, you may want to consider a gray water recycling system. Ed Begley Jr. did, and here's what he decided on.

All About Ed's Gray Water System

Ed went with a company called Gray Water Recycling Systems out of Redondo Beach, California. The company handles everything from residential to commercial gray water recycling, and also works with rainwater harvesting systems.

The company states: "The average family of four living in a warm climate zone uses over 20,000 gallons of water monthly! Well over half of which is used for landscape irrigation; clean drinking water being sprayed on dirt! The same family uses nearly 3,800 gallons to flush toilets... Our units reduce municipal water use by 50% to 70% with a similar reduction in water cost."

That's a really big way to really shrink your water footprint, and your monthly water bill. The system captures the water used in showers and sinks, purifies it, and pumps it to toilet tanks and through landscape irrigation systems where it can be used again. Essentially, you get to use your water twice before it goes to municipal water processing plants or back into the groundwater table. Gray Water Recycling System has a page on their website that walks you through exactly how their system works.

[i]If you have specific questions for Ed about his gray water system, head over to the forum and ask him!