Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?

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  • Published on:  Friday, May 10, 2019
  • I took a boat through 96 million black plastic balls on the Los Angeles reservoir to find out why they're there. The first time I heard about shade balls the claim was they reduce evaporation. But it turns out this isn't the reason they were introduced.Huge thanks to LADWP for arranging this special tour for me. Next time let's put the GoPro on the submersible!The balls are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) which is less dense than water so they float on the surface of the reservoir even if they break apart. They are 10cm (4 inches) in diameter and contain about 210ml of water. So the main reason they are on the reservoir is to block sunlight from entering the water and triggering a chemical reaction that turns harmless bromide into carcinogenic bromate. This effect occurs with prolonged exposure to bromate so regulators insist that levels be kept below 10 microgram per liter on average over a 12 month period.Special thanks to Patreon supporters:Donal Botkin, Michael Krugman, Ron Neal, Stan Presolski, Terrance Shepherd, Penward Rhyme and everyone who provided feedback on an early draft of this video.Thanks to:Las Virgenes Reservoir for footage of initial shade ball dumpEuro-Matic for bird into jet-engine footageResearched and Produced by Casey RentzAnimations by Maria RaykovaMusic from http://epidemicsound.com "Colorful Animation 4" "Seaweed"And from Kevin MacLeod "Marty Gots a Plan"This is an educational video about the science of water quality.
  • Source: https://youtu.be/uxPdPpi5W4o


  • polt

     2 months ago

    Jesus christ, I finally watched it youtube are you happy?!

  • Ian

     40 minutes ago

    polt Haa same here

  • The Armed Realtor James Tiberius

     2 hours ago

    My friends just call me Jim...

  • Sharky Playz

     2 days ago

    5:51 anyone else see that bird? Lol. RIP

  • Joshua Scott

     2 hours ago

    Lmfao sucked in N spit out

  • Matt James


    More education on YouTube now then i ever had at school back in the day and who needs TV when you have this place.

  • SirDogeQ

     20 days ago

    "It's pretty rare to see 96 million of anything"Pewdiepie : ...

  • SirDogeQ

     5 hours ago

    @Lynne Voyle Sad but true :(

  • Mila T

     20 days ago

    Bromate.. Sounds like something a british rapper would call his friends.

  • swami fakkananda

     48 minutes ago

    @theboss wtf???

  • Tiznado

     2 months ago

    Veritasium: It’s really rare to see 96 million of anythingSand grains: Am I joke to you?

  • lawomann


    @CONSPRIRACY REALIST Hey, if black balls clean our water, we use black balls. Nothing wrong with a simple solution, that's for sure.

  • [SGL] Gaming


    the question i had in mind was: Will blocking the sunlight cause microbes to multiply in the water ?!

  • Anna Mae


    *It’s pretty rare to 96 million anything* Sand: am I a joke youLeaves: am I a joke you Dust: am I a joke to you Trees: am I a joke to you

  • BonkersGames

     8 hours ago

    *Imagine An Ef5 Tornado Spreading These All Over The Place* 😂

  • Stavros Libavius

     2 days ago

    In a few years they will need to be cleaned from the microbes that have been adhered to and created colonies