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


these are shade balls they’re being dumped into this water reservoir in Los Angeles and contrary to what you may have heard their main purpose is not to reduce evaporation so what are they really for? To find out I am visiting the largest collection of these balls anywhere on Earth at L.A. reservoir 96 million shade balls. That’s correct. 96 million it’s very rare for you to see 96 million of anything This is your life vest which you are required to wear. Alright. Throw your leg over and climb on in anyway you can there you go. Thank you looking at this I had so many questions. Like why are they black? Are they safe to have in drinking water? How much do they cost? Do they actually reduce evaporation? And what is their real purpose? is it hard to drive in shade balls. It is very hard. Why is that? These are actually partially filled with water the reason they’re filled with water is that in L.A reservoir we have some really high winds and so if we didn’t put water in these things there’d be balls bouncing on the 5 freeways people would drive down they’d be all over the place so these keep the balls in the reservoir and if they do start to roll they kinda wobble because of water makes them uneven but that makes them significantly difficult to push out of the way especially when they form close-packed crystal like structures behind the boat the balls quickly come together in our wake and some close to the motor are pulled along with boat wow did you what did you think the first time they suggested doing this or when it first came in yeah it was a little out there. did you think they were nuts? No, not nuts it just like. It looks absurd It’s like we’re in the world’s biggest ball pit yeah right that’s what it looks like you can’t tell by standing here that we’re actually floating over I think it’s probably 40 50 feet right here, 40 50 feet deep below us and you can’t even see any water you’d think it was a joke. Right? if you didn’t know. You’d would be like no you’re not that’s like a green screen or something alright yeah it’s fake so like when i switch on my tap at home is the water coming from here? Yes. Sometimes, or always. Most of the times Most of the time the water is coming from here, absolutely nuts so why is LA reservoir covered in shade balls? the problem all started with Bromide Bromide is a naturally occurring substance associated with salt water and so normally places like the California aqueduct that comes down from the delta you get some salt water intrusions we have some bromide in the water bromide is harmless and it’s almost impossible to remove and when you disinfect the water with ozone, that bromide becomes bromate and bromates are carcinogenic and so around year 2000 they wrote regulations regulating bromate and the regulations basically said if you have a treatment plant that uses ozone then you have to watch bromate to be careful not to form to much so the only place we ever measured bromate was in our filter plant and the results were always within 10 micrograms per liter limit set by regulators so they were confused when they got a call from one of their customers a beverage company in L.A they said we have some really high levels of bromate showing up are you aware of this? and we said well we don’t show anything but between the filtration plant and the customer was the reservoir so they did some tests almost immediatly upon coming into this open reservoir the bromate levels jumped it turned that bromide with chlorine which is supposed to be safe in bright sunlight form bromate even more than ozone and so we made this unfortunate scientific discovery that actually wasn’t a part of any regulatory scheme and so here we are at reservoir we have water source that’s got bromide in it harmless we have chlorine, we have to have disinfected water, we have sunlight because it is open the only choice we have is to remove sunlight so we looked at all sorts of things we looked at floating tarps across the water and normally we put a floating cover on the water but that’s a multi-year project and so we said can’t we manufacture kind of trampoline with poly like PVC pipe they’re just gonna become bird perches, it’ll have a big water quality problem and so we knew we had high density polyethylene pipe which is used in the water industry and we know that it floats and we at one point thought about can we get to float a pile of pipe across the surface well that’s hard to do and very expensive because it’s a lot of material so maybe we could take some pipe and run it through a chipper and we can make a debris field across the surface like the back corner of a lake somewhere but in anyhow all this mushy warm water with plastic floating on the top that sounds like a petri dish and so lo and behold Dr Brian White did some research and he found the shade ball except they weren’t called shade balls at the time this product existed and they were called bird balls and they’d use it on ponds that had mine tailings where they didn’t want waterfowl to go in and get poisoned and also around airports where there were ponds and they wanted to keep the waterfowl off so that they didn’t take off and get into the jet engines


100 Responses

  1. Marianne Jones

    September 5, 2019 1:38 am

    Gasoline powered boats contaminate drinking water and risk cancer. Black balls absorb heat, white balls would repel heat and make the water cooler. Decreasing algae, decreases the amount of oxygen in the area. Black roads all over the world, burned out blackened forests, black seas without glacier ice (as seen from space), and these damned black balls contribute to global warming.

  2. Jonathan Watson

    September 5, 2019 8:02 am

    You should of asked to jump on top of the balls, to see how dense they were……. are you able to float on top of the balls,???

  3. Michael Bechtold

    September 5, 2019 9:06 am

    Carbon black is considered possibly carcinogenic to humans and classified as a Group 2B carcinogen because there is sufficient evidence in experimental animals with inadequate evidence in human epidemiological studies. Per Wikipedia

  4. ecxusemeisthisnametaken

    September 5, 2019 9:17 am

    Veritasium: It’s really rare to see 96 million of anything

    People making this joke in the comment section: Am I a joke to you?

  5. CuffsX2

    September 5, 2019 10:10 am

    Just something else on Youtube to show how the people running California are idiots. Approximately $36,680,000.00 they spent on plastic balls because they are worried that water might cause cancer. Another so called reason for government to keep stealing more and more of our hard earned money through so called "voluntary taxes". I can't believe I wasted 3 minutes and 32 seconds of my life watching this stupid video.

  6. Poul Pedersen

    September 5, 2019 11:37 am

    Cool but what the hell are they made of? Cause no matter what BS Scientist tells you plastic, any petroleum based plastic that is black coloured will break down in the sun's heat and emit Cancer causing chemicals….

  7. yusuf red

    September 5, 2019 6:34 pm

    Answering this video's caption question, this reservoir is a slut. That's why there are millions of black balls on it.

  8. Real Planet X Nibiru

    September 6, 2019 10:30 am

    96 million at .34 cents per ball

    10 year shelf life

    32 million dollars for 1 reservoir every 10 years

    arent taxes high enough ???

    were paying for those !!!!

    real cost effective dont you think ?

  9. gunnerdan70

    September 7, 2019 12:43 am

    3 for $1 is still $32,000,000 That's a lot of money tax payers are paying for safe drinkable water. Speaking of I wouldn't be surprised if the bottle water company that complained is one that sells spring water (Only it's not coming from a spring- it's coming from a reservior)

  10. Krishna Pattaje

    September 7, 2019 10:10 am

    It may have solved 1 problem of Sun heating up the water body and in turn, aiding the bromide and chlorine reacting and producing Carcinogenic output. However, only time will tell what new problems will arise out of this solution.

  11. Bruce Mourad

    September 7, 2019 9:38 pm

    They are dumb…. Black attracts the sun on it…. Sun focuses more on black, so its making it hotter then it should be,
    Go sit with a White Shirt in the sun, its less warm then using A black Shirt in the sun :0

  12. Akshi kothuru

    September 8, 2019 1:22 pm

    Imagine getting stuck there with no fuel or with a broken engine . It would take forever to swim out😂LOL

  13. fradyc

    September 8, 2019 9:34 pm

    These balls would be perfect with a white and a black half.

    The black half should be a little thicker, so that it is heavier

    and always the white half is above. This keeps the water cooler …

  14. Mick Mcknight

    September 9, 2019 7:29 am

    If this is the kind of thing we have to do to save our planet/environment, we'd just might as well give up! Crazy!!!

  15. Mister J

    September 9, 2019 2:10 pm

    I've ignored this video so many times now and this one time I accidentally clicked it before pressing the lockscreen button…when I unlocked my phone this is the first thing I saw and finally watched it, guess YouTube algorithm won this time.

  16. Apoorva Rangaraju

    September 10, 2019 1:30 am

    Plant trees instead it will help replace water in your water table. It'll also cool down the environment because of transpiration. It'll make your environment better too.. Indians are clearly smarter: Google "Cauvery calling".. 🙄

  17. Linked Neurons

    September 10, 2019 10:30 pm

    Why does this video play twice? 🙁
    I added it to my "Legal Things You Probably Didn't Know" playlist, but I'm only now realizing that it plays twice.
    That's horrible for a playlist, and I don't even get why.


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