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.


  • Tiznado
    Tiznado  3 months ago +25091

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

  • Warmaster
    Warmaster  4 days ago +66

    Why is this still in my recommendations??!!!

  • Brady Phillips
    Brady Phillips  yesterday +17

    How is it safe to drive a boat in already filtered water?

  • Sergio Dumanlag
    Sergio Dumanlag  yesterday +26

    You see that airplane suck up the bird.. Its insane😮 time 5:50

  • Aquatic Escapes Aquariums Inc.

    3 per $1...somebody is laughing all the way to the bank...

  • polt
    polt  3 months ago +25485

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

  • Cali 760
    Cali 760  2 days ago +5

    Soo basically you're driving around in a boat in my bath water..?

  • Alexander Valtchev
    Alexander Valtchev  12 hours ago +3

    MEANWHILE... the SUN is the best disinfectant and you wouldnt need chlorine in the first place.
    So now we have plastic balls in one of the solar system's most powerful solvents -- in 20 years someone is going to figure out that plastic in the water is also carcinogenic.

  • Nædrin
    Nædrin  28 days ago +425

    09:47 i dare you to attempt to say "matter of fact" faster than that.

  • RebelPlayz x
    RebelPlayz x  7 days ago +145

    Who immediately thought can I jump in it...
    Or is it only me.. ;-; lol

  • LukeFili
    LukeFili  3 months ago +16079

    We all know their real purpose... to stop Mr. Incredible.

  • coffeehigh420
    coffeehigh420  8 hours ago +3

    you've got a lot of balls posting up a video like this!

  • Andreia Guerrero
    Andreia Guerrero  yesterday +5

    Legend has it that someone lost their marbles.

  • Micah Heard
    Micah Heard  14 days ago +116

    The bald guy really enjoys teaching. His smile puts a smile on my face.

  • ManPower Gaming
    ManPower Gaming  10 hours ago +1

    A big thank you to Marty Adam's. His excellent representation and explanations of these things made this video possible.

  • jason fajerman
    jason fajerman  3 months ago +1382

    It’s very rare to see 96 million of anything
    Water Molecules: am I a joke to you?

  • Jay Hay
    Jay Hay  2 days ago +7

    The spokesman guy in the suit was SO chill about his job!, They all were actually. Must be an awesome team to work with

  • Sharky Playz
    Sharky Playz  1 months ago +337

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

    THE SHRIMP  3 days ago +20

    takes a lot of balls to make a video like this

  • صهيب قشوع
    صهيب قشوع  yesterday +1

    Leave me alone YouTube recommendations PLEASE