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 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.

čas přidán


veritasiumblack ballsballsball pitshadereservoirblackplasticwaterLAlos angelesLA reservoirLADWPbromatebromidewater qualityalgaeevaporationwater supplychlorinesunlightsciencephysicscarcinogencarcinogenic





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Komentáře 100
Joshua Seechan
Joshua Seechan Před minutou
Did anyone see that bird get eaten by the plane @ 5:50
Miami SWL Radio
Miami SWL Radio Před 9 minutami
0:58 "Are they safe to have in drinking water?" I imagine having the engine and propeller of a boat slicing through drinking water to be a hell of a lot unsafer for humans
keep thinking
keep thinking Před 13 minutami
this could be the most stupid thing cali has done to the water yet, toxic plastic degrading in the water now if i remember correctly they had a major problem after implementing this
Telly F
Telly F Před 25 minutami
Short answer: to prevent cancer
Manuel Camelo
Manuel Camelo Před 46 minutami
I'm a Northern-East Italian Inventor and 3d/CAD Designer of 23 years old. Just try to place 96 million OCTA spheres and render them in Real-Time using Unreal Engine 4. Your Computer will explode instantly, then point a gun at its CPU and then grow a full prostate cancer in its RAM. So, yeah. God.. The Creator of the Universe is a Genius :)
exinexi Před hodinou
A quick glimpse at the humans and nature interaction. Maybe we should fix this planet and have these plastic balls cover all the oceans and lakes, that would be cool.
Rabin pro
Rabin pro Před hodinou
I know black color absorb more sunlight so I think it will evaporated rapidly due to hot.......
The White Sun
The White Sun Před hodinou
mums little disappointment
how they gonna get them out after 10 years?
Big Rabbit
Big Rabbit Před hodinou
They are injecting BPA a sex altering hormone into the water supply as well as other cancer causing chemicals, as the plastic balls heat up they start to leak these chemicals into the water supply, part of global depopulation program Agenda 21
Jenny klarke
Jenny klarke Před hodinou
Brilliant idea.
jamcdonald120 Před hodinou
Now why would you put water in the resevoir after processing it? Thats just a recipie for disaster, reverse the order and you are fine,
Kwint Před hodinou
30 million in a week
RAFAEL CANELA Před hodinou
winston miller
winston miller Před 2 hodinami
The balls fit too perfectly into the area, as thought someone has done some really precise measurements.
winston miller
winston miller Před 2 hodinami
Aliens are really trying hard to upset our environment!!??😲😲😲
D Před 2 hodinami
Bromide and Chloride affect the Endocrine system !!! Which in turn allows for more absorption of Flouride and Aluminium ⚰️☣️☢️ Are those balls BPA and BPB free? Highly unlikely. When is the world going to wake up and realise what they're doing to the masses 🙄🤔
DahriusArt Před 2 hodinami
Veritasium: It’s really rare to see 96.000.000 of anything CSvid: 96.000.000 views? challenge accepted
iCrazy Theorist
iCrazy Theorist Před 2 hodinami
*Why are there 96,000,000 suggestions of this video?*
Ohanapecosh Před 2 hodinami
Why are they running a gas outboard on their launch? They leave a definite sheen and smell. Electric would be totally adequate for that small reservoir!!!
FeedMeSeymour Před 2 hodinami
To lower the abortion rate?
Tyrannosaurus Tits
Tyrannosaurus Tits Před 2 hodinami
Veritasium: It’s really rare to see 96 million of anything 9 years olds (and maybe T-Series fans too): Am I a joke to you?
Tornadolph aka King gryph jr
5:50 look at the turbine the bird got oofed
Novice Scythe
Novice Scythe Před 3 hodinami
Isnt that toxic?
John Haudi
John Haudi Před 3 hodinami
How will they dispose of the balls once they no longer work?
Paul Vo
Paul Vo Před 3 hodinami
Alberta should use this for the oil sands wastewater
Richard. Schmelz
Richard. Schmelz Před 3 hodinami
Thumbs down because in the first 3 minutes you failed to answer the title. You wanted to talk about balls following the boat motor
Garrison Hunter
Garrison Hunter Před 3 hodinami
irony: they put in the balls to stop effects of chlorine, now chlorine is not necessary -- thanks for keeping it positive Marty
Andrius Ambrutis
Andrius Ambrutis Před 3 hodinami
Nice solution but doesn't black balls will not cause warming problems? I mean they absorb light so they will get warm and so on... * I'm not a pro it's just idea
bmull81 Před 2 hodinami
@Andrius, you really need to watch all of it! They show you pictures!
RUHDD4HVN Před 3 hodinami
Okay I'll say it....... "It took a lot of balls to make this video."
Rison Lu
Rison Lu Před 4 hodinami
i would get her Boba
Nathan Christy
Nathan Christy Před 4 hodinami
He’s worried about the black balls in the drinking water but not the gas engine 😂
B Xx
B Xx Před 4 hodinami
Why are you driving a gasoline engine boat in a reservoir?
Rick Před 4 hodinami
deejee Před 4 hodinami
but can this video achieve 96 million views?
hen rock
hen rock Před 4 hodinami
46000000 million Americans with out balls sorry girls
Augustus Cardoso
Augustus Cardoso Před 5 hodinami
The guy at 1:20 sounds exactly like Dr. Steve Brule
alвυѕ capυт
alвυѕ capυт Před 5 hodinami
Cuida él planeta
Londyn Lewis
Londyn Lewis Před 5 hodinami
This makes me so happy that I live in British Columbia hahaha
Smooth Trunkfish
Smooth Trunkfish Před 5 hodinami
Bruh 3 for a dollar? They spent 32 million on plastic balls...
S.franceso Před 5 hodinami
You could be proud but the water need to see the sun
GareGare 1738
GareGare 1738 Před 5 hodinami
at 5:52 a bird dies to a plane engine
alien absolushun
alien absolushun Před 6 hodinami
ooooootay, pal
Can I get to 52k subs with 43 vids and 9k views xP
Why did the coffee file a police report? Because he was mugged.
Treshaun McKnight
Treshaun McKnight Před 6 hodinami
I love this-
JoeyNice Matrix
JoeyNice Matrix Před 6 hodinami
Why only this reservoir and not the innumerable others in the usa?
Ghnii Před 6 hodinami
how are they allowed to drive a boat through filtered water??
Big Dubyuh
Big Dubyuh Před 6 hodinami
My guess without watching the video would be to inhibit algae growth or something like that
yves jotres
yves jotres Před 6 hodinami
that looks like carbon fiber close up
Todd Buffington
Todd Buffington Před 6 hodinami
aaaaaannnnnnndddddd dislike.... failon cgi
Todd Buffington
Todd Buffington Před 6 hodinami
nice cgi
KingOfShadows1500 Před 6 hodinami
0:05 I'm sorry, are these shade balls or shaved balls?
top o'themornintoya
top o'themornintoya Před 6 hodinami
The interviewer is annoying
John Martell
John Martell Před 6 hodinami
my balls are not black
Kenneth Walker
Kenneth Walker Před 6 hodinami
Just watch. Couple years from now California legislators will make em replace all those balls with new balls labeled, "This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm".
Cito Perez-Hales
Cito Perez-Hales Před 6 hodinami
I didn't know Glenn Beck worked at the LA Reservoir.
Racheal  Williams
Racheal Williams Před 6 hodinami
They built Shadesmare! 😱
lazy dog
lazy dog Před 6 hodinami
That white dude totally loves black balls
Tina Shay
Tina Shay Před 7 hodinami
What kind of motor is on that boat?
Tina Shay
Tina Shay Před 7 hodinami
So where do the poor birds hang out now? lol
Tom Gellert
Tom Gellert Před 7 hodinami
good thing that the boat which uses gasoline and oil are piloting around in the drinking water pond..
Bob's Tube
Bob's Tube Před 7 hodinami
someone could drown
Pedro dos Santos
Pedro dos Santos Před 7 hodinami
I'm watching it, are you happy now CSvid?
Dreamr Six
Dreamr Six Před 7 hodinami
The balls stop sunlight from causing chlorine turning cancerous. There, saved you 12 minutes.
Kevin Byrd
Kevin Byrd Před 7 hodinami
Could’ve used aqua shade & saved a ton of money
Gabriel Lockwood
Gabriel Lockwood Před 7 hodinami
5:51-5:53 Bird: Whoo! *LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!* Plane: "I'm about to ruin this bird's entire life.
Fabian Huerta
Fabian Huerta Před 7 hodinami
So for 20yrs they have just been supplying carcinogenic water to the habitants of LA? :O
The Devil's Advocate
The Devil's Advocate Před 6 hodinami
For free You're welcome
Ender Wiggins
Ender Wiggins Před 7 hodinami
I think it’s cool that you can see the crystal grain boundaries
Junkman2000 Před 7 hodinami
I have absolutely no interest in whatever this is and I actually was interested enough to watch the entire video. Damn you CSvid!
School Account
School Account Před 7 hodinami
www.ebay.ca/itm/312624212082 this is great
David Skinner
David Skinner Před 7 hodinami
Hey CBS! Way to be irrelevant like the rest of the mainstream media! Keep it up!
Tessy McCall
Tessy McCall Před 7 hodinami
No trust
Eric Schwebel
Eric Schwebel Před 7 hodinami
It's really rare to see 96 million of anything. Well, the views are already a quarter of the way there.
Chris Binder
Chris Binder Před 7 hodinami
Gas motors pollute water.
CazMatazz Před 7 hodinami
I might be remembering wrong, but I think I read a couple months ago that these turned out to be useless...
HangOnnaSec Huey
HangOnnaSec Huey Před 8 hodinami
The last time I heard the term "shade balls" referenced was in a BBC DP porn flick.
Tim Rowdy Yoder
Tim Rowdy Yoder Před 8 hodinami
If I had a dollar for every shade ball in that reservoir. ..
C J Před 8 hodinami
This is really cool and super smart. Great job, everyone! Didn't intend to get on to CSvid today to watch science, but here I am, thoroughly enjoying myself.
Robert Christensen
Robert Christensen Před 8 hodinami
How sad to take away birds! Humans cannot live with nature. SAD SAD SAD !!!!! LA SUCKS!!!!!
Robert Christensen
Robert Christensen Před 8 hodinami
So sad to see LA with no natural rivers, all water locked up behind chain link fences. It is a bleak world disconnected from land.
Fat Yoshi
Fat Yoshi Před 8 hodinami
Why did this suddenly become viral?
Youtube Account
Youtube Account Před 8 hodinami
I wonder if that wouldn't interfere with swimming? not for fun, but if you fell in and were drowning.
Latent Sea
Latent Sea Před 8 hodinami
Man now I want boba :(
Chris Před 8 hodinami
Summarize this long ass video for you folks that just want info. Main issue here was that levels bromate, a carcinogen, was high. The reservoir is between the filtration plant and a customer's plant (beverage company of some sorts in L.A.). Measuring bromate levels at the filtration plant, they found it to be within a safe range, meanwhile, the levels of bromate were 10x higher on the customer's side. Reason being, chloride in our water systems, reacted with bromide to form bromate. Sunlight acts as a catalyst for the Bromide + Chloride -> Bromate reaction. With the sunlight shining down on the reservoir, these folks filled the reservoir with black plastic balls to act as an umbrella of sorts to block the sunlight from penetrating to the underlying water. What really confuses me is weren't we all told not to drink water in contact from heated plastic materials? ex. a heated plastic bottle. Maybe it's less carcinogenic than bromate, but still carcinogenic?
Ize A
Ize A Před 8 hodinami
Yes gootube...you got me to watch it...i did it...and yeah, you are somewhat right, it was interesting, but I didn't ASK for anything like this! c'mon!
b0utch Před 8 hodinami
enjoy drinking bisphenol... an open air reservoir after the water treatment facility , why would you do that in this order?
BB BB Před 7 hodinami
i cant believe their ignorance of lack of drinking water basic safety by not treating the water as it enters a sealed system = This makes NO sense.
the dark clown
the dark clown Před 8 hodinami
Children probably drown every day thinking this is a ball pit. Great idea guys
Yoshiroo Kanagawa
Yoshiroo Kanagawa Před 8 hodinami
This is terrible. This is going to affect more than they can think of. What happens when they go into applications that are after the tap??? Its a bandaid on a blown artery. You have an inferior filtration system to begin with.
Shannon Gallagher
Shannon Gallagher Před 8 hodinami
Y'all better watch out some nut is gonna scream "RACIST" because the balls r black!!! ⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫⚫
Christopher Trainor
Christopher Trainor Před 8 hodinami
Pure clickbait! But I suppose that is the point. Did you ever wonder if the AI singularity would be preceeded by an algorithm singularity?
T. Rob Brown
T. Rob Brown Před 6 hodinami
Not clickbait at all. This was an interesting and informative video.
Chuck Berrington
Chuck Berrington Před 8 hodinami
And now we know why California's crazy.... Edit: Also isn't the whole ball situation suppose to be a temporary solution? Also for how long has California been exposing their population to high amounts of carcinogenic chemicals? How many other reservoirs have been exposed? This seems to be a bigger issue then "WOAH THATS A BIG BALL PIT, LOL"
Anunnaki J
Anunnaki J Před 8 hodinami
This is the scary thing about powerful companies in this COUNTRY! it took a private business owner to report what the gov/county couldn't figure out what's happening when the chlorine was released???... SMH & these are the people in charge of our safety?
Dr. Fastestinthewest
Dr. Fastestinthewest Před 8 hodinami
More fake info here. Eaglegards ya saps...
Diamond Empire
Diamond Empire Před 8 hodinami
Could they make these out of recycled plastic
hevad Před 9 hodinami
How come you didn't ask whether the propeller destroyed some of the balls, whether it could get damaged by them. Did they use some sort of protection for the motor?
TuxDigital Před 9 hodinami
fyi I watched this after your video about this video going viral . . . thought you might like to know that for the data. :D
Johnny Cruise
Johnny Cruise Před 9 hodinami
can we add plastic to everything?
Jason .C
Jason .C Před 9 hodinami
So the shade balls are black, does that mean they can say the N-Word?
Xaiex J
Xaiex J Před 9 hodinami
You did this whole video, made that entire trip, did all the work of editing it and uploading it..... Have you ever heard of "Google" or "Wikipedia" ?
T. Rob Brown
T. Rob Brown Před 7 hodinami
Wikipedia is a generic source. Good reporting and informing the public requires you to go directly to the primary sources. This video is far more educational than reading a few boring paragraphs on wikipedia.
Duke Rodgers
Duke Rodgers Před 9 hodinami
This is pretty cool lol even though I was looking for breath of the wild videos 😂
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