Los Angeles battles drought by releasing millions of shade balls into reservoirs
California’s largest city hopes to combat drought and water pollution with 96 million plastic balls at the (relatively) low cost of $35 million.
LOS ANGELES — Millions of plastic shade balls were poured into the Los Angeles Reservoir on Monday to help protect water quality and prevent evaporation.
Hollow and weighted down with water, the balls will remain on the water’s surface and protect the water from dust, rain, birds and reduce algae growth. The balls will also block the water surface from the sun, preventing bromide and chlorine in the water from reacting and forming bromate, a known carcinogen.
Less than $35 million was used to produce the shade balls, an amount much smaller than the estimated $300 million cost of covering the 175-acre facility.
"This is a blend of how engineering really meets common sense. We saved a lot of money, we did all the right things," said Los Angeles Department of Water and Power General Manager Marcie Edwards at a press conference.
Los Angeles is the first city in the United States to use shade balls. Ninety-six million shade balls have been poured into several reservoirs in LA. According to ABC 7 News, the balls will prevent an estimated 300 million gallons of water from evaporating into the air each year.
The balls can last 10 years inside the reservoirs before they are recycled and replaced.
Millions of shade balls have been released into water reservoirs throughout Los Angeles to preserve water quality and fight drought. GENE BLEVINS
The plastic black balls are four inches in diameter and are coated in a chemical that blocks out ultraviolet lights. TWITTER @ABC7JULIESONE
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