Sunlight can cause a lot of damage to open-air reservoirs, which is why scientists created shade balls. What are they and how do they work?
LA Rolls Out Water-Saving ‘Shade-Balls’
“Today, “shade balls” got their moment in the sun. On Monday afternoon, the 20,000 black plastic balls tumbled down the slopes of Los Angeles Reservoir, joining 95,980,000 of their brethren already covering the surface of the water.”
A reservoir goes undercover
“The water needs to be shaded because when sunlight mixes with the bromide and chlorine in Ivanhoe’s water, the carcinogen bromate forms, said Pankaj Parekh, DWP’s director for water quality compliance. Bromide is naturally present in groundwater and chlorine is used to kill bacteria, he said, but sunlight is the final ingredient in the potentially harmful mix.”
Why Are Shade Balls Black Instead of White?
“Los Angeles has coated its reservoirs in millions of black plastic balls. But why are they a heat-absorbing black instead of light-reflecting white? Because they’re shade balls, and their purpose has nothing to do with the drought.”
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Written By: Jennie Butler