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.



10 mai 2019

veritasiumblack ballsballsball pitshadereservoirblackplasticwaterLAlos angelesLA reservoirLADWPbromatebromidewater qualityalgaeevaporationwater supplychlorinesunlightsciencephysicscarcinogencarcinogenic




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Commentaires 48 998
Citadin Il y a 3 minutes
So they've replaced one carcinogen, bromate, with another toxic chemical, HDPE plastic, which will degrade and seep into the drinking water. Great plan!
Just Music
Just Music Il y a 27 minutes
damn thats stupid...
MarkVL Il y a 39 minutes
Not worth the views
precious Jossy
precious Jossy Il y a 42 minutes
Can you imagine those 96 million balls are less than Pewdiepie and T-series subscribers?!!!
Nahayuk Kresnawati
Nahayuk Kresnawati Il y a 43 minutes
Why the ball's colour is black? Why not blue so like air color in sea
Nahayuk Kresnawati
Nahayuk Kresnawati Il y a 36 minutes
Oh its answer in this video haha
Edward Man
Edward Man Il y a 44 minutes
those sunglasses are lit at 10:43
Thierry GUENNOU Il y a heure
Like many europeans I dreamt of LA untill I watched google maps and saw this is a 100 km+ continuous suburb and now I know the water has no bromate, but has balls in it. Organic! And cost only 96 * 0.33 around 30 M$!
sandwichHLP Il y a heure
Veritasium: It’s really rare to see 96 million of anything . FRvid views: Hold my algorithm...
eyes wide open
eyes wide open Il y a heure
chlorine is safe, right.
Patricia Nastasi
Patricia Nastasi Il y a heure
Are these balls biodegradable in the earth without harm to the environment?
santosh babar
santosh babar Il y a heure
Can we swim in this ?? 🙄
Jay Hype
Jay Hype Il y a heure
Wait this got a re-upload?
Roblox lover 0654
Roblox lover 0654 Il y a heure
Lol its the black sea's brother 😂😂😂😂😂
Will Dwyer
Will Dwyer Il y a heure
Since they're black and absorb heat, I would think they'd increase evaporation.
Sam Il y a heure
Wow. Amazing technology Thats why you always support Research and development and science. To be able to even identify this problem in the water, an actual carcinogen and find solutions to fix it is incredible. A great job to everyone involved! Thanks for sharing
greg Randall
greg Randall Il y a 2 heures
No fish??
LeftCoastBias44 Il y a 2 heures
KJV Only
KJV Only Il y a 2 heures
Crazy world we live in. Man playing god its evil. Nothing good comes from man messing with whats natural.
wwizman Il y a 2 heures
Should change the title to this video to: "Who gives a fuk why there are 96 million balls on this reservoir"? But then I guess you wouldn't have any views.
MuhdZikry Il y a 2 heures
Can this video get 96 mln views?
weaton25 Il y a 2 heures
The one question that I wanted answered was not asked what would happen if you fell in.
Lzr9 Memes
Lzr9 Memes Il y a 2 heures
Why are they black ? 😂😂 Like WTF
Wayne Huggins
Wayne Huggins Il y a 2 heures
Why didnt you just build a water tower?
Joyful Soul
Joyful Soul Il y a 2 heures
What is carbon black powder...Is that what folks are calling melanin?
1woksape Il y a 2 heures
Why not white, Sun reflecting balls?
toobakedtooplay Il y a 2 heures
driving gas powered boat in resevoir LOL
Envy Valery
Envy Valery Il y a 3 heures
when the bird heard about yet another polluting technology he committed suicide 5:50 by flying into into the planes engine !!! 5:50
dave c
dave c Il y a 3 heures
Still less black balls than have been on your mama's chin.
Rebecca Ringler
Rebecca Ringler Il y a 3 heures
Potassium bromate is added to brominated wheat flour and is not harmless. It is banned in some other countries. "The Truth About Potassium Bromate"
The Fakey Cake Maker
The Fakey Cake Maker Il y a 3 heures
Piss off please FRvid, this is an old video for a start and now all shade balls are being removed from all but one of the resevoirs because they block sunlight which causes problems in the water. Now I have clicked this link and dislike it please get it OFF my side bar.
Neon Genesis
Neon Genesis Il y a 3 heures
5:52 Rip that bird:(
blah Newman
blah Newman Il y a 3 heures
Cant be good
EA 333
EA 333 Il y a 3 heures
...20 years later... “A scientific study released yesterday shows that the black plastic balls released into the reservoir around 20 years ago has been leaking various toxic and carcinogenic substances into the water!”
meTimetraveler Il y a 4 heures
Ryvucz Il y a 4 heures
83_Bismuth Il y a 4 heures
At 9:37 the level of water inside the balls is a bit higher than that outside them. I believe it must be the opposite
Favorite Accident
Favorite Accident Il y a 4 heures
I apologize to every Native American who were killed off and stripped for their land
dante dante
dante dante Il y a 4 heures
racist balls ?????
Astro Zombie
Astro Zombie Il y a 4 heures
Answer to the title: because the reservoir is a Kardashian?
hazelnut Il y a 4 heures
the video of the aircraft has a bird sucked in to its engine :(
tom d
tom d Il y a 4 heures
what happens when balls deteriorate and sink to bottom
Viva Vivea
Viva Vivea Il y a 5 heures
All the damage the elites r doing to a reservoir. Not natural at all. Fake fake fake.
Tahir Sadik
Tahir Sadik Il y a 5 heures
Poor bird at 5:51 it flew in the airplane turbine .
Дмитрий Фатиков
androo4519 Il y a 5 heures
What if you fall in?
Magdalene Olivet
Magdalene Olivet Il y a 5 heures
Derek is awesome! I learn a lot through his videos!
DAN8137 Il y a 5 heures
it's only rare if youtube suggested this video since 1969
Jakob Wiedemann
Jakob Wiedemann Il y a 5 heures
That's the most american solution to a problem i have ever seen. "We need to cover up a lake, let's just add a few tons of waste for 20 million dollars, that will be actual waste after 10 years". They could have covered it up in basically every other way you can imagine while being cheaper (by time) and less wasteful.
TriplePlay Il y a 5 heures
Fill the Sultan Sea.....see what happens.
André B.
André B. Il y a 5 heures
It's in this WiKi:
Paul Clifford
Paul Clifford Il y a 5 heures
I read the news today oh boy, 96 million balls in blackburn lancashire.
Shashikanth P
Shashikanth P Il y a 6 heures
Veritasium: It's really rare to see 96 million of anything FRvid: It's really rare to see Veritasium video cross 30 million views so fast!
Lieutenant sohl
Lieutenant sohl Il y a 7 heures
A racist guy in L.A:turn those balls white I don’t care about safe drinking water.
Luca Domenichini
Luca Domenichini Il y a 7 heures
but is it hygienic to use a motorboat in a basin of water intended for human consumption? Do you drink exhaust fumes from your pleasure trips in Los Angeles?
Jonney Shih
Jonney Shih Il y a 7 heures
I thought it was cg at first
ImOkayItsJustAnAddiction _
Anyone see a bird die at 5:52 with a jet engine on a plane I think but yeah it was sad. R.I.P Bird, 1 like = 1 prayer for the bird
Gay Guru
Gay Guru Il y a 7 heures
Did yall see that bird get sucked in that plane at 5:53?
KookieMonsta 602
KookieMonsta 602 Il y a 7 heures
"It's really rare to see 96 million of anything," Stars in space: Am I a joke to you?
Charles Kim
Charles Kim Il y a 7 heures
0:57 When god created Africans
Kimberly Perkins
Kimberly Perkins Il y a 8 heures
Too fake
Kimberly Perkins
Kimberly Perkins Il y a 8 heures
Eggs.eeew watch out
Cathy King
Cathy King Il y a 8 heures
Mary’s Vlogs
Mary’s Vlogs Il y a 9 heures
96M balls that’s so many balls!. So That’s what I saw in highway going to Santa Clarita. I wonder what are those black thing I thought it was just black mud.🤣now I know! 😆
Panda Gurl
Panda Gurl Il y a 10 heures
Anyone else think they may be covering it from the crap their spraying in the air these days? (Chem trails?)
twocvbloke Il y a 10 heures
Why not just do what us brits do and treat the water between reservoir and distribution pipes? Can't say I would like to have a drink of water that's been sat open in the sun next to a highway with birds flying overhead plopping their poo into it and local rodentia popping along for a drink, slipping in for a swim, having a wee and leaving unpleasant stuff like Weils disease behind, never mind bromates and algaes, but hey, not my pig, not my farm...
Dr. phalanges of gaming
Dr. phalanges of gaming Il y a 10 heures
Like Mr.Breast said "This is going to be a banger"
Tobit Louis
Tobit Louis Il y a 10 heures
I’ve got 96,000,000 black balls
Bryan 396 Key NanoTech Discoveries and More.
30 million views...30 million people with intelligence spectrum s of 5 yrs old...and CIA YT MK Ultra mind control FALSE View ratings. only 2 weeks. I call BAALshit
James Burk
James Burk Il y a 10 heures
i don't believe any of this. these are obviously giant alien spider eggs that need to be in the water to hatch and the environmental reasons are a ruse put on by the disguised spider kin placed throughout the government. when they hatch LA will be overrun.
Fikri Ichsan
Fikri Ichsan Il y a 11 heures
It's like a lake with low pixels
WillPillLOL Il y a 11 heures
good to know they put _dam_ bird balls on the water
Workdove Il y a 11 heures
Sounds too good to be true. What are the unanticipated side effects. You know what they say about things that are too good to be true.
Nestor Matos
Nestor Matos Il y a 11 heures
Time will tell, its like bottled water already bottled...hmmmm
quinn taylor
quinn taylor Il y a 11 heures
I’ll show you some black balls 😘
JS logan
JS logan Il y a 11 heures
they are running out of water ,supply and demand issues, this is answer , they are crazy
L’Eglise V.Noelle
L’Eglise V.Noelle Il y a 11 heures
FRvid algorithms brought me here after a video about bph levels in plastic being loaded with estrogen and water also being filled with chemicals that literally cause hermaphrodism in animals AND people and how it's being hidden from society intentionally. God bless.
getcaughtup2018 on yahoomail
Wow you can really stop people from being able to get a drink of free water that God made.
marked3life Il y a 12 heures
You might say the reservoir got...blackballed. ba dum tss.
White Male.
White Male. Il y a 12 heures
Looks like an African caravan raiding Spain again..... 0:06
Speedy Grasshopper
Speedy Grasshopper Il y a 12 heures
Extremely stupid idea, drink that chemical high heat water, no problem... sure.
Mario Henriquez
Mario Henriquez Il y a 12 heures
It's a good idea, but can you use that in the heads of the demoncraps, they need that for real, the heat in their heads are making them go nuts.
Tristam Stone
Tristam Stone Il y a 12 heures
What could possibly go wrong?
Errique Young
Errique Young Il y a 12 heures
Now that's a lot of balls
dale carpenter
dale carpenter Il y a 12 heures
What does the plastic put in the water ! Total socialist communist stupid !
dale carpenter
dale carpenter Il y a 12 heures
That is stupid ! The fluoride in the water you may ass well drink lead !
Speedy Grasshopper
Speedy Grasshopper Il y a 12 heures
But why black, black attracts the sun's heat, the lake water will evaporate quicker, top of surface will be extremely hot, why not white balls, which attracts very little heat? How is this explained?
WE WILL SEE TRUTH Il y a 12 heures
It is a very evil thing, all that BPA makes the people gay, but thinking is not allowed in the US, right?
WE WILL SEE TRUTH Il y a 12 heures
Very stupid idea, but just what I expect from Americans.
Cindy O'Hara
Cindy O'Hara Il y a 12 heures
Sad for all the homeowners along this reservoir. Instead of beautiful water, they now have a big black blob to stare at!
Cindy O'Hara
Cindy O'Hara Il y a 11 heures
MaestroCygni ...I doubt that. I'm a realtor and there's no closeup footage of the entire circumference.
MaestroCygni Il y a 12 heures
As you can see, no homes along this reservoir...
WE WILL SEE TRUTH Il y a 12 heures
You have a very gay voice.
grdn rs
grdn rs Il y a 12 heures
The beauty industry is always in some drama. I found this video in my recommended and finally I feel like I’m in the actual reality again. No more “wheres the tea all tea no shade” lmao I’m like finally existing on the mature and adult side of FRvid
Bernadette Duroch
Bernadette Duroch Il y a 12 heures
Plastic milk cartons are not good for you. There is something for people including children, no flavor called Liquid-kelp which cleanes up the body from harmful plastic and yes this one is harmful too.
freckledfuck Il y a 13 heures
cellphonenut Il y a 13 heures
The birds are not LGTB
It's a New Earth
It's a New Earth Il y a 13 heures
Chem trails and now blocking sun from water. Humans are weird. Moving out of the third dimensional reality into the fifth dimension.
Zaksi Il y a 13 heures
Veritasium: It's really rare to see 96 million of anything. Pewdiepie Subs: *Am I a JOKE to you?*
freckledfuck Il y a 13 heures
Frig you
Ricky SP
Ricky SP Il y a 13 heures
My question is whats under them shade ball that may be hidden from the public eye ?
Kyaa Kitty
Kyaa Kitty Il y a 13 heures
It looks like a giant heating panel. Black absorbs heat you know. I know they say its cooler because of the air inside, but when people are trying to save money they will say anything. Also maybe cooler water, but hotter air over the top maybe. Maybe, they only measure the water temperature and not the air leaving the surface of the balls. They can proof their point with the water temperature only, when its actually heating the earths surface from the top of the balls. I'm not a scientist though.
Juan Vedder
Juan Vedder Il y a 13 heures
Bromate is the ultimate good guy.
Billy Woody
Billy Woody Il y a 13 heures
What a HUGE waste of money. Damn I hate living in LA. This city is run by idiots
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