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

  • Published on 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 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.

Comments • 58 592

  • casey K
    casey K 11 minutes ago

    I love how he puts air quotes around water is safe to drink lol 8:35

  • Sobe Girl
    Sobe Girl 14 minutes ago +1

    So what happens after 10 years to the balls? Our landfills get overwhelmed? How much is this costing the tax payers?

  • Sam Mind Body and Soul
    Sam Mind Body and Soul 17 minutes ago

    That resoviour has had 96million black balls in it. Still not as many as your mom

  • sagitariojahm
    sagitariojahm 40 minutes ago

    Ok someone findout if not they just was poisoning to help the cancer sealers

  • jan smith
    jan smith Hour ago

    we're trying a grass root effort in spreading the world about the amazing sailing you tube channel called “Sailing La Vagabonde”.... Lets Help the Sailing La Vagabonde get over 1 Million subscribers...they are so close. Elana & Reilly are amazing partners & have been sailing around the world for the past 5 years.

  • Joe Bloger
    Joe Bloger Hour ago

    is this racest

  • mattmatt115
    mattmatt115 Hour ago

    To me it looks like something that in 20 years time, will be known to the state of california to cause cancer or other reproductive harm.

  • Nero Seraphim
    Nero Seraphim Hour ago

    Omg what gappened to all the castrated black guys?

  • G 4 R
    G 4 R 2 hours ago

    Isnt plastic cancerous?

  • Panda Poot
    Panda Poot 2 hours ago

    So did you guys end up getting boba?

  • cecilyt006
    cecilyt006 3 hours ago

    Turns out I don't care and I'm sick of looking at your dopey face.

  • Kevvvy Kev
    Kevvvy Kev 4 hours ago

    That's were they just gone start thrownin bodyz at

  • Dan Baltizar
    Dan Baltizar 5 hours ago

    A lot of this is not true or correct. All the state has to do to
    It a complete end to its lack of water is reclamation plants. They do it in the deserts of Arizona and SW Texas. Or desalination of ocean water which might be better since the ocean levels are rising 1/16th of an inch. Yr.

  • Dan Baltizar
    Dan Baltizar 5 hours ago

    If the people of CA, the citizens, would WAKE UP and can all their politicians and thee millions of $$$$ they steal and use for their OWN agendas, the state COULD actually become an good place but now it stands as a cesspool of gangs, drugs and illegals from all over the world,

  • Alexis Perez
    Alexis Perez 5 hours ago

    Wouldn't it be better if they covered it with Solar panels? Win Win?

  • Déaglán
    Déaglán 5 hours ago

    Wow so many puns...

  • simon
    simon 5 hours ago

    Who had the job to check off the delivery and count the balls to check they weren't stiffed on their purchase.

  • Chris Partridge
    Chris Partridge 5 hours ago

    I want some of these for my pool.

  • OldAzureSoul Ben
    OldAzureSoul Ben 6 hours ago +1

    3:00 for answer

  • SKMC69
    SKMC69 8 hours ago


  • Eben Burger
    Eben Burger 8 hours ago

    Just grow some water lilies!

  • Fahd Ali
    Fahd Ali 9 hours ago

    2:13 Did you think they were nuts.
    Nooo! (His dumbass thought to lie and save his ass + job) lol

  • Josh K
    Josh K 9 hours ago

    Why Are 96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir? because there are 48,000,000 black guys in the reservoir?

  • Ashwini Bhadauria
    Ashwini Bhadauria 11 hours ago

    No mention of all the fish, in that lake, that are now no more, because there is no sun light, and therefore no food for the fish. Interesting cover up!

  • stan goldin
    stan goldin 12 hours ago

    So stupid !! The balls should be white !!!

  • sheila tolley
    sheila tolley 14 hours ago

    Yeah great! More plastic for 10 yes, let wildlife suffer once again & speaking of birds who's bird brain thought up this idea?????

  • Shiva Chella
    Shiva Chella 14 hours ago

    Anything against nature is dangerous. Will these balls heated under the sun may release carcinogens into water?

  • Greg Everett
    Greg Everett 16 hours ago

    Sorry Sarah now I understand LOL

  • Crazybob
    Crazybob 17 hours ago

    96.000.000 blackballs? White bitches will be losing it.

  • Arpudli
    Arpudli 17 hours ago

    Does not this creates microplastics?

  • John Hungerford
    John Hungerford 18 hours ago

    I have to admit, you have “balls”

  • grev
    grev 18 hours ago

    Almost 1 for every PewDiePie subscriber.

  • yackawaytube
    yackawaytube 19 hours ago

    Who's the comedian with the black balls? Bill Cosby

  • Chris
    Chris 20 hours ago

    48,000,000 black men are swimming in the reservoir

  • mircic91
    mircic91 20 hours ago

    This is a "BANGER" Mr Beast was talking about :P

  • Megacode Heals
    Megacode Heals 21 hour ago

    Very cool...was that an app or camera

  • P Motorsports
    P Motorsports 22 hours ago

    Why are the shaved balls black? Hahaha

  • TOM D
    TOM D 22 hours ago

    5:51 me

  • CYTMasterGamers 1
    CYTMasterGamers 1 Day ago +3

    they are 95,999,999 ....... MARTY ADAMS get 1 ball

  • nkuhlman
    nkuhlman Day ago

    I'd love to turn ...you...on!

  • Miguel Angel
    Miguel Angel Day ago

    Black retains temperature. What is the effect of heating on br-?

  • Greg Everett
    Greg Everett Day ago +2

    Am I the only one that knows about boats that's a four stroke motor doesn't dump oil and stuff in the water like a 2 stroke.

    • Greg Everett
      Greg Everett 16 hours ago

      @Sarah G ? Why don't you explain yourself instead of putting out a three-word sentence that makes no sense

    • Sarah G
      Sarah G 16 hours ago

      Not anymore lol.

  • jctopgun
    jctopgun Day ago

    Should you really be using a gas power boat with those California added chemicals to drinking water?

  • linda sullivan
    linda sullivan Day ago

    wow this is nuts , the sun is needed to energize the water,,, and also why on earth would you want to drink water from a resevoir that uses gas powered boats in it ,, this is insane talk about major health issues coming , bad evil agenda

    • Mohammed
      Mohammed 23 hours ago

      linda sullivan Are you dumb?

  • Paws4Mercy
    Paws4Mercy Day ago


  • Steve D P
    Steve D P Day ago

    tests with swimming pools only, then decision made? I would do more testing before putting peoples health at risk :S seems like get out of jail free card to me

  • H2O2 Cars
    H2O2 Cars Day ago

    THERE IS NO FOOD GRADE PLASTIC. Plenty of water under earth, just drill deep. I don't believe a thing they say. They fluoridated our water for decades, 5g is class 1 carcinogen, vaccines have known permanent poisons that are not even necessary to make them work

  • Michael Thomas
    Michael Thomas Day ago

    AND the plastic breaks down over 10 years, slowly, release material that is cancerous. He lies

  • Michael Thomas
    Michael Thomas Day ago

    TOTAL BS. Should have been painted/colored WHITE. Black out in the sun is 20 DEGREES HOTTER then white. The white keeps the heat down, REDUCING evaporation.

  • Droneman Productions

    Thats alot of balls

  • hook blieght
    hook blieght Day ago

    i want to lye on top of them in the middle of the res

  • tommy bomby
    tommy bomby Day ago

    When pollution is the solution

  • Emi Rose
    Emi Rose Day ago

    It looks like they are in a lego ocean

  • sunnypsyop
    sunnypsyop Day ago

    Filming a porno?

  • * Stone
    * Stone Day ago +12

    Save yourself 12:07 watching this: The balls are there to "create shade" in the water to reduce sunlight, which helps keep the bromate levels down.

  • Callahan Covington

    Isn't everyone told NOT to keep your drinking water next to plastic in the sun because the chemicals from the plastic leach into the water? Thanks for giving everyone cancer LADWP! Some lucky mofo got million$$$ in taxpayer contract money from this deal!

  • JENDALL714
    JENDALL714 Day ago

    If you try to do a Google Search for "96,000,000 Black Balls on This Reservoir?" It will ask, "Did you mean Black Cocks?"


    That looks toxic....those balls better be BPA free.

  • Jay Johnson
    Jay Johnson Day ago

    How mush did it cost the city? $1 per ball, so 96,000,000 ?

  • Liz&Dan Nunya
    Liz&Dan Nunya Day ago +5

    Add plastic to your drinking water. Nice. Pick your poison, I guess.

    • agvulpine
      agvulpine Day ago

      Yeah. Definitely wouldn't want plastic in our water, or water in our plastic for that matter. Bottled water is safe though, because corporations put it there and they know what they're doing.

  • J Kelley
    J Kelley Day ago

    I too, have balls.

  • Wayne Slayden
    Wayne Slayden Day ago

    Teton county nuclear - Google it!
    Plus it's feeding the big volcano and killing big game animals

  • Wayne Slayden
    Wayne Slayden Day ago


  • Bob Digi
    Bob Digi Day ago

    Grains of sand, blades of grass, square mm of a football pitch...... Just saying.

  • Lachieblue
    Lachieblue Day ago

    mr beast is shook

  • rain74925
    rain74925 Day ago

    The suspense is killing me! just tell it already. Why? 3:15 in, yeah, there you go, thanks!

  • Jumping Jack
    Jumping Jack Day ago +3

    10:07 "These run about 3 for a dollar" ... totaling the cost to 32 million dollars? ...for one reservoir?

    • Jabari
      Jabari 16 hours ago

      over 10 years so thats $3.2M a year

    • Jerrad RL
      Jerrad RL Day ago +1

      Though less chlorine, evaporation and the fact that they hold value when eventually recycled brings this cost down substantially. It's a big reservoir too and it's much better than having it full of water that can harm you..

  • Ape from the kitchen of Enki and Enlil.

    Better white balls

  • V111NY
    V111NY Day ago

    What about the fish in there?

  • Niranjan Wagh
    Niranjan Wagh Day ago

    can walk on it? what if drown and want to swim back up?