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

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.


  • Patrik


    Il y a minute

    Looks like they are putting a bunch of chemicals in the drinking water....

  • Gabriel Murphy

    Gabriel Murphy

    Il y a 3 minutes

    his first question was "why are they black"😭😂

  • Ryan G

    Ryan G

    Il y a 4 minutes

    man this looks UNREAL..

  • Abelardo Arcos

    Abelardo Arcos

    Il y a 8 minutes

    This is from 2015. And L.A. Authority actually replaced them. The water used to produce the balls is way more to what was saved. It's astonishing the video is near 30 million views. And the date is fake.

  • ian flanagan

    ian flanagan

    Il y a 28 minutes

    yeah its food grade plastic, don't mean eat it lol

  • Tomas Nemec

    Tomas Nemec

    Il y a 28 minutes

    stupidni idioti takhle znecistovat planetu. Proc ?

  • Stacey Cartnal

    Stacey Cartnal

    Il y a 29 minutes

    If they don't want to attract sunlight would white be better?

  • PlasmaBurns


    Il y a 30 minutes

    48 million black dudes made a great sacrifice.

  • eddebrock


    Il y a 38 minutes

    Most of these balls will never know the touch of a human.

  • Benevolent Protector

    Benevolent Protector

    Il y a 39 minutes

    That's a brilliant move, replace the carcinogen bromate with the carcinogen BPA (bisphenol A) ..very cleaver!

  • Kosso Mollo

    Kosso Mollo

    Il y a 40 minutes

    Mitä vittua?

  • Mackleish


    Il y a 47 minutes

    why does dick cheney work for LADWP?

  • Dondy


    Il y a heure

    I'm not your bro mate

  • InoxQc


    Il y a heure

    it's really cool how they pay so much money for these balls to fix a problem and then going on the reservoir (good water) with a fuel boat.

  • Ray Kowalchuk

    Ray Kowalchuk

    Il y a heure

    BAZINGA! (Am I the first to say that here?)

  • Adventure Discovery

    Adventure Discovery

    Il y a heure

    5:50 Bird gets shredded by an airplane engine.

  • Roger Bush

    Roger Bush

    Il y a heure

    If somebody threw a body in there how would they ever find it without having to wait 10 years

  • Based


    Il y a heure

    Am I the only one who want's to know if i can walk on it?!

  • rass xDaruk

    rass xDaruk

    Il y a heure

    The thing I want to know is if you can walk on them without sinking?

  • Johan Fredrik Varen

    Johan Fredrik Varen

    Il y a heure


  • scott sanger

    scott sanger

    Il y a heure

    this is politicians do when their brother in law owns a plastic ball production business. Knee jerk reaction ........ when they fail , where are the gonna be disposed off, what about the loss of water for the birds.......

  • jayden got bіtches

    jayden got bіtches

    Il y a heure

    are we gonna ignore the fact that this bird was blended at 5:50 ?

  • Malik Hinnawi

    Malik Hinnawi

    Il y a heure

    It looks like minecraft bedrock 😅

  • Ritchie Moore

    Ritchie Moore

    Il y a heure

    Rip 5:51

  • Ryan Payne

    Ryan Payne

    Il y a heure

    If the balls was red would you have stated it 😂

  • Sckhar Leviathan

    Sckhar Leviathan

    Il y a heure

    there youtube, i watched it, can you please remove it from my recommended now?

  • AzeXiR 2

    AzeXiR 2

    Il y a heure

    Mass cock and ball torture

  • Project Mayhem

    Project Mayhem

    Il y a heure

    I am waiting for Sheldon to pop out and yell Bazinga!

  • Paragon/Renegade


    Il y a 2 heures

    "...and so we unfortunately made this scientific discovery..." WTF? How come the guy in the suit calls this unfortunate? Isn't it fortunate that a high level of carcinogenic bromate ion concentration was found in the drinking water? Priorities?!?! 🤔

  • Sparta Lee

    Sparta Lee

    Il y a 2 heures

    I came for Helena and to read the description..... Ok byee. 👀👍👍👍

  • Deborah Seagraves

    Deborah Seagraves

    Il y a 2 heures

    This sounds fishy to me and does not make any since of what they are saying. Radical terrorist US Muslim American government are using every means possible to kill of American citizens on a daily basses this is no different so do not believe the shady story they are feeding you America once again they are hiding something with the danger of these balls.

  • Nguyen Tanthien

    Nguyen Tanthien

    Il y a 2 heures

    Unsichtbar.......Durchsichtig........Können es sein........?

  • Misplacehillbilly


    Il y a 2 heures

    So "oil" in the Carbon black is protecting clean water? Imagine that.

  • Confederate States of America

    Confederate States of America

    Il y a 2 heures

    Take this out of my god damn recommendations, FRdownload. I watched it. Happy now?!

  • ActsisMMLJ CorrectlyObeyed

    ActsisMMLJ CorrectlyObeyed

    Il y a 2 heures

    It's waaaaaacist that the balls are black.😳😁😎

  • Goryllo


    Il y a 2 heures

    "bromate" is also what a douchebag would call his friends

  • D jack

    D jack

    Il y a 2 heures

    Im sure the exaust oil and gas put in the water from that boat tastes good? Super healthy

  • Gaylord


    Il y a 2 heures

    All pewds 9 year olds

  • Dylan Martin

    Dylan Martin

    Il y a 2 heures

    That’s a banger

  • Yak Motley

    Yak Motley

    Il y a 2 heures

    Wow thats really cool!

  • Jack Bohem

    Jack Bohem

    Il y a 2 heures

    i saw on prev tons of black ppl and iron meh

  • myclubwagon


    Il y a 2 heures

    Although the balls are food grade safe, .... are they BPA free?

  • linda Achelpohl

    linda Achelpohl

    Il y a 2 heures

    this was a really informative and well put together thank you I really liked it. could you please put some kind of warning next time/or on this when you show something like a bird being sucked into the jet propeller ? its was a bummer to see that this morning :(

  • Callum Staples

    Callum Staples

    Il y a 2 heures

    Would blocking out light, cause more demage to the water?

  • Leonz Fortunato

    Leonz Fortunato

    Il y a 2 heures

    ....why are 96,000,000 black balls in drinking water, why aren't...we asking...why is a gas boat that leaves behind oil, driving in our drinking water...

  • Ro Pi

    Ro Pi

    Il y a 3 heures

    Sure. So now you are buying the narrative according to which highly polluting plastic black balls continuously kept in contact with water actually serve to stop pollution/toxicity in water. Sure. Sure, bring it on dude, more bs in next video please

  • Jordie k.

    Jordie k.

    Il y a 3 heures

    Omg the bird at 5:50 😭

  • Unprimitive Technology

    Unprimitive Technology

    Il y a 3 heures

    Mr beast who ami right my dudes

  • Remington Jarvie

    Remington Jarvie

    Il y a 3 heures

    Shadesmar is not as scary as I thought...

  • Born 4 A thing

    Born 4 A thing

    Il y a 3 heures

    It's really rare to see 96 million of anything PewDiePie

  • itsyaboiAnton


    Il y a 3 heures

    I saw a bird die

  • Edindro Whitehall

    Edindro Whitehall

    Il y a 3 heures

    I love the completely unnecessary shot of a bird getting sucked into a jet engine. Hilarious.

  • Cxzy Oblivion

    Cxzy Oblivion

    Il y a 3 heures

    His first question had me rolling



    Il y a 3 heures

    Cool story... not so cool host. Seems and sounds like douche. Peace.

  • Deniz Bircan

    Deniz Bircan

    Il y a 3 heures

    so will the black balls just stay there forever? never able to swim or anything there anymore, and why 96 million? and did someone count them all to get that number?

  • Mr.llama YT

    Mr.llama YT

    Il y a 3 heures

    Your telling me they spent $32'000'000 On balls not including tax

  • Tai Viinikka

    Tai Viinikka

    Il y a 23 minutes

    It's drinking water for ~ 10,000,000 people who live in an arid region. Annual budget of LA District Water and Power is about $6.1 billion. Pretty sure they can afford the balls. :)

  • Nick Berry

    Nick Berry

    Il y a 3 heures

    Aren't these the microbots from Big Hero 6????

  • midinerd


    Il y a 3 heures

    Shade balls were originally known as bird balls, as they were developed initially to prevent birds from landing on toxic tailing ponds produced by mining operations.[1] They have also been used by airports to prevent birds from being attracted to drainage ponds and thus risking collisions with planes.[2] You're welcome

  • Jeremy Heuneman

    Jeremy Heuneman

    Il y a 3 heures

    An outboard motor in a pond of drinking water.. Genius!

  • Vin D

    Vin D

    Il y a 3 heures

    Somebody made serious money manufacturing these.

  • lenard ggor

    lenard ggor

    Il y a 3 heures

    so if the filtration plant is before the reservoir then if a bird shits in it u might drink it? just look at that green water like wtf and with the chlorine ur basically drinking pool water

  • ThrustfulEel- Gaming

    ThrustfulEel- Gaming

    Il y a 3 heures

    Mr. STARK!?!?

  • Luis Dias

    Luis Dias

    Il y a 3 heures

    96million grains of sand are not that many.

  • Nordic4U


    Il y a 3 heures

    Brilliant Government again...dumping 'plastic' balls into drinking water, the balls get heated from the sun & release TOXINS into the water...then add POISONOUS CHLORINE BLEACH...and GASOLINE FUEL motorboats to the drinking water (see big Yamaha boat motor in video) and folks wonder why drinking city water makes them sick! We grew up on a gorgeous fresh water lake in Ontario...but the city allowed gas boats for years until the water got so polluted, it became undrinkable. Water is a PRICELESS resource, stupid to sell it to other countries...we need to smarten up & hang on to what we have or we're going to be forced to pay for bottled water (oh wait, we do that now...ugh)

  • Gabrielinator


    Il y a 3 heures

    Bro these balls are magic. Imagine being the team that came up with this. Must be so satisfying

  • Audrey Jennings

    Audrey Jennings

    Il y a 3 heures

    WTF?? Stupidest thing ever!! I would never drink out of there. Birds are not stupid. Plastic in hot 🌞 sun!!???!! DUH!!! Whatever dude! Common sense says otherwise 🙄 Just another explanation for mind control. No matter how smart it sounds. Really stupid

  • emanuel spitalny

    emanuel spitalny

    Il y a 3 heures


  • GoodDay


    Il y a 3 heures

    Looks like LEGO cartoon

  • Luis Dias

    Luis Dias

    Il y a 3 heures

    So many questions.... Why not just have a closed reservoir in the first place? Is the science behind saying bromate 100% solid? How can you tell if bromate causes cancer? Does this issue affect all plants that use chlorine as water treatment and have open reservoirs?

  • Philip settimi

    Philip settimi

    Il y a 3 heures

    There made out of plastic, oh goodie!!!

  • Ling ling

    Ling ling

    Il y a 4 heures

    Can we get an F for the bird on 5:51

  • Goldsom


    Il y a 4 heures

    nigga balls

  • Lisa Alisa

    Lisa Alisa

    Il y a 4 heures

    Dude looks like Tony stark

  • OrangeNASA


    Il y a 4 heures

    the real question at 0:57

  • Daniel Joseph Chiasson

    Daniel Joseph Chiasson

    Il y a 4 heures

    I know precisely why you blackballed me on the internet you odd strange realaxers. It had better change or the internet will be devastated in one day google and youtube and all your hoards against me.

  • Umer Khayyam Khan

    Umer Khayyam Khan

    Il y a 4 heures

    So I watched this video after watching your how to make videos to viral video, Awesome 👍🏼

  • Simran Dhillon

    Simran Dhillon

    Il y a 4 heures

    It's hard to believe something unnatural doing so many positive things without any negative impact.

  • chocobo6400


    Il y a 4 heures

    Why are they driving a boat through drinking water?

  • Darkobert Dub

    Darkobert Dub

    Il y a 4 heures

    the only thing i was asking myself was: "Do those balls have a personality? Do they have feelings? Don't they feel kind of "bally" ?"

  • Tom M

    Tom M

    Il y a 4 heures

    If they are injecting ozone to treat the water at the site of filtration, why then add chlorine to the reservoir? I suspect ozone is more expensive in processing so why not just use chlorine? I am not a chemist but it seems redundant.

  • Michael B Perry

    Michael B Perry

    Il y a 4 heures

    Good informative reporting, thank you.

  • Edward Keenan

    Edward Keenan

    Il y a 4 heures

    Isn't this polluting where in the hell are these balls going to go after they go rotting and it's made out of oil I don't think they're thinking this out completely

  • Itsiwhatitsi


    Il y a 4 heures

    0:16 i hoped the answer was: they are just for fun

  • Ильвар Рахимов

    Ильвар Рахимов

    Il y a 4 heures

    ступид американ бич. Броматы беспокоят, а то, что на лодочном моторе заехал в источник питьевой воды это нормально? Просто сын мэра города Лос-Анджелес прикупил завод по производству мячей. Такая же пройдоха как Мюск.

  • Ian Morrison

    Ian Morrison

    Il y a 4 heures

    Carbon black is classified as a Group 2B carcinogen

  • Bracknell CyclingCampaign

    Bracknell CyclingCampaign

    Il y a 4 heures

    You could add floating Solar PV instead of many of the balls like this one in uk frdownload.net/item/vid%C3%A9o-lMraQUjdX-Y.html

  • oOdOdY 75Oo

    oOdOdY 75Oo

    Il y a 5 heures

    I'm surprised he didn't bring up marine life... Does the lack of sun affect them? Just curious, not going all PETA here.

  • Farhan Masud

    Farhan Masud

    Il y a heure

    it’s just a reservoir

  • Speedy Singh

    Speedy Singh

    Il y a 5 heures

    At 6: 49 the guy wants to chomp on a shade ball, because its Food grade plastics.....Doesnt seem to be a good idea....though they have a lot of Balls!!

  • Baby Blue

    Baby Blue

    Il y a 5 heures

    Can you swim on them?

  • oOdOdY 75Oo

    oOdOdY 75Oo

    Il y a 5 heures

    Bromide, a substance only brothers share.

  • Dr. Sleaseball

    Dr. Sleaseball

    Il y a 5 heures

    -Bro! -Mate!

  • craftwizrd


    Il y a 5 heures

    why use black balls?They will heat up and raise the temperature of the water.White balls would have been the way to go!

  • ช้างน้อย Noy

    ช้างน้อย Noy

    Il y a 5 heures

    Build a house on the ball

  • boobieshitthefloor


    Il y a 5 heures

    To poison you, duh.

  • Sanhinda Peiris

    Sanhinda Peiris

    Il y a 5 heures

    This is what happens when something from this FRdownload niche enters trending... People like you turn up... sorry. Hi, nice to meet you. I see you have a question that's hidden in your statement.

  • e mc2

    e mc2

    Il y a 5 heures


  • Thiago Banker

    Thiago Banker

    Il y a 5 heures

    96 millions balls... 96 millions of views!

  • mcsniper77


    Il y a 5 heures

    I can't get over the structures they are forming.

  • Slider Uk

    Slider Uk

    Il y a 5 heures

    this guy is a scam , this guy did it first clk.ink/DS5KI

  • Sanhinda Peiris

    Sanhinda Peiris

    Il y a 5 heures

    your irony... lol!

  • Rian Creamer

    Rian Creamer

    Il y a 5 heures

    So how long were people drinking water with potentially carcinogenic levels of bromate then?

  • Anya Jidkaia

    Anya Jidkaia

    Il y a 5 heures

    i am scared to drink "drinking" water!!! Have to go buy this Japanese filter/ionizer after watching this