wow, that’s a lot of balls

The Boston Globe has a fantastic feature called The Big Picture. Every day, they publish a series of pictures that personify a different theme. Yesterday, it was about space, and today it was about water.

One of the pictures that caught my eye today was a picture of 400,000 balls being dropped into Ivanhoe Reservoir. The Times has the story:

The agency started dumping thousands of floating plastic balls into Ivanhoe Reservoir — the dwarf sibling next door to Silver Lake Reservoir, the neighborhood’s crown jewel — to protect the drinking water supply needed for summer.

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.

The DWP drop was designed to stop the three from mingling in the 10-acre, 58-million-gallon Ivanhoe Reservoir. The 102-year-old facility serves about 600,000 customers downtown and in South Los Angeles.

It looks cool to pour them in, but I bet the novelty of looking at them wears off really fast. The Times says that the Ivanhoe and Elysian reservoirs will be covered with balls for 4 years.

(Image from flickr user councildistrictfour.)

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2 Replies to “wow, that’s a lot of balls”

  1. Seems like you might get pretty scummy with balls on there for four years. I leave a bowl in my sink for two days & it gets kinda slimy. :P

  2. Holy damn. I was just taking a walk around the reservoir on Sunday with some friends and telling them about the plan to fill it with balls and nobody believed me!

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