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

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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 dump
Euro-Matic for bird into jet-engine footage
Researched and Produced by Casey Rentz
Animations by Maria Raykova
Music from "Colorful Animation 4" "Seaweed"
And from Kevin MacLeod "Marty Gots a Plan"
This is an educational video about the science of water quality.

Datum objavljivanja:


10. Svi 2019.

veritasiumblack ballsballsball pitshadereservoirblackplasticwaterLAlos angelesLA reservoirLADWPbromatebromidewater qualityalgaeevaporationwater supplychlorinesunlightsciencephysicscarcinogencarcinogenic



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Komentari 59 143
Susan Ananda
Susan Ananda Prije 2 sati
Were those balls made in China?
Colinio Prije 2 sati
It's a fantastic idea, so long as you don't drink the water!
K G Eve Art & Photography
Why would you have the filtration plant before the reservoir?
_randomOfMe Prije 7 sati
Tell me when the views count exceed the black balls
Troy Prije 7 sati
Someone made $32 million off of these balls...
KennyLeeSundowners Prije 8 sati
dumb fucks
IDKBOB TA Prije 10 sati
Here's a little lesson in trickery.
블루문 Bluemoon Travel & Plant
Wow, Very nice video friend! Thanks for sharing. Your video is very interesting. Super Like... Have a great week.👍👍
Benjamin Schutz
Benjamin Schutz Prije 11 sati
Sometimes when I'm bored, I like to get my balls wet too
todd morris
todd morris Prije 12 sati
Then eat it buddy every night, all that food grade black plastic.
todd morris
todd morris Prije 12 sati
Chlorine causes cancer period. There is ways that are non toxic to perfect water and add the minerals and oxygen left. Plus they add cancer causing fluoride. Literally all city water is toxic, some short term, some long term.
Ryan Boolukos
Ryan Boolukos Prije 13 sati
I'm going to save you the 12 minutes. The balls are to prevent the water from being evaporated by the sun. Every kid learned about this in science class so I don't really know why someone would take the time to watch this video, finally clicked on it to stop it from coming up in my feed.
Alex Carlton
Alex Carlton Prije 14 sati
Wow that’s really neat
Jannik Heidemann
Jannik Heidemann Prije 14 sati
What does the boat driver say at 1:16? I can't understand it and it's not in the subtitles either.
sharktooth_6 Prije 14 sati
rename this video to driving a boat in your drinking water
Isaac Dönitz
Isaac Dönitz Prije 14 sati
I’ll do you one better why is this always in my recommended?
Frank O.
Frank O. Prije 15 sati
“ItS vERy rARe tO sEe 96 mIlLiOn oF aNyTHinG” 96 million HRvid comments later.... “ArE wE aLl A JoKe tO yOu?!”
Aditya More
Aditya More Prije 17 sati
Imagine playing golf with a black ball near this reservoir and ball falls into it
lyscan Prije 17 sati
There are more than twice more balls than people who watched this video
dene Berry
dene Berry Prije 18 sati
Large golf balls having a wash
LostSheepful Prije 19 sati
Dr. Mercola once again has masterfully written and staked his reputation on the ill health effects of bromide: LA WAKE UP--BROMIDE SHOULD NOT BE IN YOUR WATER SUPPLY!!!!!!
sabbracadabra Prije 19 sati
"You could chew on it, it won't do any harm at all." I don't trust any of these corporate pricks, especially that guy.
sabbracadabra Prije 29 minuta
I'm more concerned with the chemicals in this stuff. They test things on rats and then they test it on humans and then they call it a day. What they don't test is humans having it every day for 40+ years. It is no surprise cancer rates are soaring, and dementia, etc.
Even if it is harmful, for the 10 years disolving time so much water will pass through the reservoir that it will probably carry super small amounts of plastic, much smaller than the ones from bottles
Ryder Kennison
Ryder Kennison Prije 19 sati
My question is why are they driving a boat on a drinking water lake, the boat is putting gas in our water
koji kabuto
koji kabuto Prije 20 sati
Wow, this was a perfect solution to a problem. Balls. LOL
LostSheepful Prije 20 sati
Prevents BROMIDE from mixing with CHLORIDE that is a carcinogen. Hope that all of you in LA do not use TABLE SALT at home, have metal pipes that BROMIDE oxidizes, have hydroCHLORIC acid in your stomach or CHLORIDE in your blood levels, BECAUSE the mixture of BROMIDE and CHLORIDE is in their words, a carcinogen!!!!! That statement is hokey at best. Do your research LA, you are being slowly BROMINATED!!!!!
Nancy Nash
Nancy Nash Prije 20 sati
so why are you operating a dirth filthy gas engine / boat in the LA drinking supply?
Alex Miller
Alex Miller Prije 11 sati
these engines are not SO dirty and filthy, especially if it's an engine with air cooling system. And most of their waste is floating on the water and evaporating, so they can just use the water from the bottom of the reservoir.
Nædrin Prije 23 sati
09:47 i dare you to attempt to say "matter of fact" faster than that.
Jonophilous Prije 23 sati
So much for reducing plastic use
Jacob BALDRY Prije dan
Piss off youtube
M Kaplan
M Kaplan Prije dan
freeFlowMedia Prije dan
Food grade plastic? Is it edible? Think not
freeFlowMedia Prije dan
And the birds. Wheres the grown ups here
freeFlowMedia Prije dan
I thought plastic in water was a big issue
Ken Christie
Ken Christie Prije dan
In the first world war bromide was put into British soldiers' tea to stop them from getting an erection.
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin Prije dan
3:06 is where the explanation is
the TOMSTER Prije dan
its not that rare to see 96million of anything in the world... dirt particles, microbes, atoms, number of cells in the human body... basically you see it everyday: and same as here: they usually serve one shared purpose.
Llewellyn James Kinnaird
Who ever closed this deal, is a dam legend.
Miroslav Kovacevic
Why no white balls, they reflect sunlight and they will not accumulate heat?
1) They dont have white food grade material 2) This way it can absorb the light from the bottom of the reservoir, so *somewhat* less light
Johan Rodrigues
Johan Rodrigues Prije dan
Because there are 48.000.000 blach guys on the lake
Demisc32 Prije dan
wow they got screwed on the price, 33 cents per ball!?
Dad Dad
Dad Dad Prije dan
Crap...I finally gave in HRvid one would to appease a youngster throwing a temper tantrum.... Wasn't all that earth owe me lunch....
Lewis Whalawitsa
It green ageey and cleen up
Brian Prije dan
Marty Adams - Chief Operating Officer, LADWP -- imagine if all government officials were as knowledgeable and explained problems and solutions as clearly. Very impressive. Thanks for making this video.
swami fakkananda
is it still there???
Paradise Road
Paradise Road Prije dan's of fruits...nuts...and balls...
Joey G
Joey G Prije dan
That's what this video is about what the heck man
Joe Momma
Joe Momma Prije dan
Covered with black balls? Yes, please!!
angurisloud Prije dan
No! replicate the entire mailbox is steel and let them break their wrist wacking at it! Put a camera up and put THAT on HRvid!
jim battles
jim battles Prije dan
they ban plastic straws but buy 96,000,000 plastic balls. for one location.
Jannik Heidemann
Jannik Heidemann Prije 13 sati
Each ball is used 10 years or more every time the sun shines. Plastic dishes & straws are never used for merely ten hours. At least I would call someone crazy for sucking on an straw 10 hours straight.
Tony Xanx
Tony Xanx Prije dan
It’s rare to see 96 million of anything Beach sand : Hold my beer
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