Innovative California Local Starts up Grey Water Recycling Service

Grey water system

Second Generation Water (2G) Partners with City of Pasadena to Recycle Hundreds of Thousands of Gallons of Water

During the extreme California drought, local Southern California resident, Mark Kernen, became the father of his second child. As most parents can relate, the addition of his newborn started a seemingly endless laundry cycle for him and his wife. Hearing continued news coverage on the drought, Kernen was bothered by the statistics of how much water his household was wasting. 

On average, 20 – 50 gallons of water are used for a single load of laundry.  Small families use, on average, 1000 gallons or more of water every month,” says Kernen.

Curious of how his family household could better conserve water, Kernen researched a recycling water service known as Grey water, the relatively clean water that comes from baths, sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, and other household appliances. This water, as well as rainwater run-off, can be recycled by redistributing it into an irrigation system, reducing a family’s use of household water by up to 70%.  

Kernen set out to have a grey water system installed in his house and was surprised at the lack of Southern California companies who could provide the service, especially with the growing concerns of long term water depletion.

Continued Drought in California

Despite the recent rains, the National Weather Service has issued a drought update that still labels parts of Southern California in extreme drought and other areas  as severe. California is moving forward with long-term plans to make  water conservation a way of life while Los Angeles specifically seeks ways to capture more water locally. Because water capturing efforts for the Los Angeles River are lagging, most of the rainwater flows right back into the Pacific Ocean rather than into reservoirs for local residents.  With the growing population of upwards of 43 million people in the surrounding city, and strong dependence on external water sources from distant rivers and lakes, concerns for long-term sustainability are on the rise.

Kernen founds Second Generation Water (2G) to retrofit local homes with grey water irrigation.

On a mission to help his community conserve water, Kernen founded Second Generation Water (2G), a grey water and rainwater retrofit installation service provider. 2G retrofits  plumbing to redistribute otherwise wasted water to an outdoor subsurface irrigation system that can be used to water trees, bushes, rose beds, & other areas of the lawn, saving the consumer thousands of gallons of water a year. In addition, rainwater installations serve  to capture and store  property rain run-off for future use. Storage of upwards of 10,000 gallons is easily possible.

2G Water employee shows off grey water company car adn rain runoff barrels.
Photo Courtesy: Lead installer, Javier Gutierrez shows off company car and rain runoff barrels.

  Second Generation Water expands its grey water and rainwater community outreach.

To spread awareness more quickly, Kernen appointed a local water advocate Aaron Kuehn,  as 2G’s Board President and Spokesperson.  Kuehn contacted local cities,  introducing the company as a good partner for future city planning. He succeeded in creating two critical partnerships to expand community outreach in both Los Angeles & Orange County.

2G  has partnered with Pasadena Water and Power and the Bureau of Reclamation via a grant to install 50 of their basic Laundry to Landscape systems for local residents.  Laundry to Landscape Systems, or L2L’s, are widely considered the building block of any residential water conservation program, saving clients an average of 20 to 50 gallons per load of washing.  “The Pasadena Collaboration is an amazing opportunity for 2G and we’re delighted to collaborate with the city.  By installing 50 in one year we’re hoping to raise the overall consciousness of the public toward greywater there, and ideally jumpstart the overall program in the region with other communities.  At every installation we’re happy to showcase the process to the local community and chat with whoever is interested.  For those that are handy enough they can build their own system with a bit of training available through Greywater Action and the city. And for those that prefer, we’re happy to do the work for them”, says Kernen.

Further south in Orange County, Second Generation Water will begin the retrofit of their first Concept House in January 2017, in Huntington Beach, CA.  The theme being “Affordable Efficiency.”  January to June will focus on affordable water innovations available to the existing home owners, with one component per month being installed.  July to December will focus on energy upgrades and efficiency.  The process will be documented through print and digital media, as well as traditional TV and Radio support.

2G Board President and local water advocate Aaron Kuehn; “By opening up the 2G concept house we aim to show the typical home owner that water conservation doesn’t have to be a luxury item.  There are upgrades homeowners can and should do to make big changes to their water and energy use.  This can be done affordably, and quickly.  We’ll be showcasing some amazing products and demonstrating to the public and builders just how easy it can be.”

The company plans to offer tours of the home and its products to the public as well as by appointment to contractors over the next several years.

The schedule as follows for the Concept Home retrofit can be linked at and open house and tour dates will be updated regularly.  View the site for services or contact for more information. 

Beth Pitts

Co-Founder & Global Editor-in-Chief

Beth Pitts co-founded Whentwo Media with Kim Lafleur in order to share thought-provoking news and information. Prior to Whentwo, Beth Pitts had a career in eCommerce, launching and managing sites for several large tech, beauty, and fashion retailers. Also a retired rugby player, she is in search of a replacement hobby that could create as much thrill without the tendency for injury. The search is ongoing...

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