Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ivanhoe Reservoir Covered With 400,000 Black Plastic Balls

In 2007, the Department of Water Protection in Los Angeles detected high levels of bromate, a carcinogen that forms when bromide and chlorine react with sunlight, in Los Angeles’s Ivanhoe Reservoir. Bromide is naturally present in groundwater and chlorine is used to kill bacteria, but sunlight is the final ingredient in the potentially harmful mix. The 102-year-old facility serves about 600,000 customers downtown and in South Los Angeles. When the Department of Water Protection realized the problem, they began construction of a new underground reservoir in Griffith Park, but while the new facility was being built they had to determine a way to keep the sunlight out of the water.

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The possibility of tarps and metal coverings were explored but they were either too expensive or will take too long to install. So one of the DWP's biologists, Brian White, suggested "bird balls," commonly used by airports to prevent birds from congregating in wet areas alongside runways. The balls are made of polyethylene and cost only 40 cents each. The coating contains carbon and black is the only color strong enough to deflect ultraviolet rays.

400,000 balls were dropped into the reservoir on June 2008, where they will remain for the next four to five years until the new underground reservoir is completed.

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[via LATimes]

53 comments:

  1. Could you imagine someone with OCD looking at this.

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    1. That's not how OCD works, you dolt.

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    2. I have OCD and an looking at it; I think you're confused about what OCD is.

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  2. Replies
    1. Dude. How is it fake when theres alocation they gave you and pics. I have seen it. In person. I bet you 100% you havent.

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  3. how do the people in the boat get out

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    Replies
    1. You are joking, right?

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    2. you aren't really that stupid surely?

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    3. helicopter help them out!

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    4. I get why he was wondering how they got out, he thought that if they went through the water with all the balls there they'd get stuck in the rotor and could mess it up. That's why he asked. @Anon2 You don't have to be so mean.

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    5. You can fit propeller guards to the motor, which is like a mesh that stops debris from hitting the prop. I'd assume they'd be using them. :)

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  4. Looked fantastic. Like a lot...musta been fun

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  5. It will heat the water to boiling by absorbing sunlight, and that's the end of the saved water.

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    1. If you think the water is absorbing more heat with that huge black coating over top rather than just being open to sunlight, you should really keep your 'theories' to yourself. If you think sunlight will bring polyethylene to temperatures above boiling (100 C / 212 F), you're just plain stupid.

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    2. Polyethylene actual doesn't begin to melt until 115-129 therefore it wont boil at 100. also I believe it doesn't boil it melts then it combust (catches fire) around 300 bypassing the traditional boiling phase. But that may be above your pay grade so what I meant to say is aren't you stupid for thinking everything has the same boiling point as H2O. Lay off, we are all human and have a right to ask questions and contribute.

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    3. You're an idiot. He wasn't saying polyethylene boiled at 100C. Water does. As you will see if you reread his quote, he was questioning the possibility of sunlight bringing the polyethylene to TEMPERATURES above 100C, which would be necessary for the water below to begin boiling. Stop being snarky, it just makes you look even more stupid when you're wrong.

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    4. You're a fucking idiot. Read the comment again, or maybe have someone explain it to you? 5th grader would suffice

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    5. The OP wasn't saying the Polyethylene would boil but rather the water would due to the added heat retained because the balls are black.

      Reading comprehension for the win.

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  6. Quite impressive...simply amazing, human capacity to find solutions.

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  7. 'heat the water to boiling with sunlight'...

    you just found a new way to power the entire planet using steam turbines! yay for you!

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  8. it might heat the water, but that is not the same as ultraviolet rays. Yes, same temperature but not the same chemical reaction. Hope you didn't or aren't getting a scholarship in science! And just so you know this is an eleven year old speaking. You might want to study a bit more

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    1. Go you! You might be surprised at hiw stupid most adults really are! That's why they're always giving kids a hard time. Just so you know this is a thirty year old speaking. Never stop studying! !

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  9. Are they chemical free??? if not look out.

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    Replies
    1. Everything in the universe, except energy, is a chemical.

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  10. Could have introduced algae which would have been cost effective and eco friendky

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    Replies
    1. Algae is NOT eco-friendly. Though while it lives it does produce oxygen just like other plants, once it's dead the CO2 created while it's decomposing is several times the amount of oxygen it created.

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    2. Isnt algae the main source of oxygen on planet earth?

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    3. It tends to get eaten before death

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    4. It wouldn't get eaten in a reservoir

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  11. i gotta say....pretty bloody clever!
    @garrett: prove it mate
    @DaveDanger: umm...the balls moved to the side as they returned to shore and were shoved back into position by the balls around them. after all they're only floating there.
    @dani: really? come on here....we're talking about california....the "this has been proven to cause cancer" state. don't you think their own paranoia would have caused them to do some chemical testing before they did it?
    @dani: sorry but algae? yeah sure ok...good way to clog up water pipes! after all, this *is* drinking water and they are *still* dispensing it to the populace. not a very thought out comment. besides, the water contains chlorine which would prevent any algae growth.

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  12. How do these balls form sequence like shown in above images?

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  13. "@dani: sorry but algae? yeah sure ok...good way to clog up water pipes! after all, this *is* drinking water and they are *still* dispensing it to the populace. not a very thought out comment. besides, the water contains chlorine which would prevent any algae growth. "

    Yea, Like chlorine is better for you than algae. Pathetic! BTW the water works only introduce chlorine when it enters the pipe. The H-Bomb works much better to make a sterile environment.

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    1. Please re-read the article..
      Theres already chlorine in the water..

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    2. Its not in the reservoir.
      Like all water treatment plant for drinking water, its added at the purification plant.

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  14. if i had to choose between algae and ping pong balls in my drinking water... ping pong balls win. they float and serve their purpose without causing new problems. very clever solution.

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    1. that's because your not a smart person. Algae is natural, and safe. Plastic and the dyes used to make those balls black probably are not.

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    2. By-products from algae, especially blue-green algae are toxic and you'd be best to avoid contact with skin let alone drinking the water. Look up microcystin and MIB...

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    3. Algae is natural and safe? Ever hear of a red tide? There are a myriad of algae capable of producing toxins.

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    4. Algae, while natural, is far from safe. "Natural" is not the equivalent of a green seal of approval from mother nature. Bears are natural. Venom is natural. Every single species of poisonous plant and toxic mineral on this planet is natural. Stop being a backwards alarmist.

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    5. If you were capable of reading the article, you would see that the black color comes from carbon. If you feel that carbon is an unsafe chemical, I encourage you to try to remove all traces of it from the Earth. Please start with your own body.

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    6. If it wasn't safe they wouldn't have used them... (-__-)

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  15. The balls should have been Polypropylene and that would make the solution perfect for drinking water.

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  16. Even better: use it to wash, but drink bottled water. No just any though. Evian is not treated (no need so no bleach or other chemicals), has tons of necessary minerals, and is slightly alkaline, which balances our systems back to a neutral ph as we're tendered acidic by our food. No wonder French people live a lot longer and are much healthier!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah cause that's what we need more freaking plastic bottles are you stupid!?!

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    2. Most French people drink from the tap. I know because I am one. Unless you are drinking bottled water out of glass, chemicals from the plastic will leach into your water anyway.

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  17. Great... more f---king plastic that will ultimately end up in a landfill.

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    Replies
    1. Ever hear of plastic recycling?

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  18. all those ball pits at McDonald's that are completely empty... Poor children.

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