Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

August 18, 2015

Dumping plastic balls in water can at times actually be beneficial

Filed under: Techie Stuff — Suramya @ 9:10 PM

When I first read about this my reaction could be summed up with the follow phrase “say what now?”, but then I read the science behind it and it kind of makes sense after a bit of thought. Basically California is suffering from a severe drought and LA’s city reservoir was loosing about 300 million gallons of water every year due to evaporation. So they came up with this novel idea of dumping 96 million hollow balls into the 175 acre man made lake. These so called ‘shade balls’ Shade balls deflect the Sun’s rays keeping more of the water in liquid form. They also help protect the quality of water by preventing formation of bromate which is created when bromide (which occurs naturally) mixes with sunlight and chlorine (from disinfectants).

LADWP is the first utility company to use this technology for water quality protection. Today’s deployment marked the final phase of an effort that involves the deployment of 96 million shade balls to the 175-acre reservoir — the largest in-basin facility of its kind owned and managed by LADWP. The small, black plastic balls protect water quality by preventing sunlight-triggered chemical reactions, deterring birds and other wildlife, and protecting water from rain and wind-blown dust.

A cost-effective investment that brings the L.A. Reservoir into compliance with new federal water quality mandates, the shade balls are expected to save $250 million when compared to other comparable tools considered to meet that goal. Those alternatives included splitting the reservoir into two with a bisecting dam; and installing two floating covers that would have cost more than $300 million. In addition, the shade balls will also prevent the annual loss to evaporation of about 300 million gallons of water.

It’s good to see folks thinking outside the box to help save water and our environment.

– Suramya

Source: Science Alert

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