The Department of water and power Los Angeles (Los Angeles Department Water & Power — LADWP) drove to one of the local reservoirs, several large trucks filled with 96 000 000 (ninety six million) plastic black balls. Once on the water, from afar they look on an oil slick, but actually perform a very useful function. And despite a very common opinion that these balls are used to reduce the evaporation of fresh water from reservoirs, they are intended for entirely different purposes. So why should they?
LADWP debt service is concerned about the quality of drinking water in the city uses them to prevent drinking water of dangerous carcinogenic (can cause cancer) compounds of bromato. Increasing the concentration of these substances in water is due to three factors: the presence of bromides, which are naturally present in groundwater, chlorine, used for disinfection of water, and sunlight. This bright California sun plays with reservoirs such cruel joke: starts the synthesis reaction of bromato. Therefore, experts and proposed to close the water away from light.
The use of flexible solid coating would be too expensive, and the metal roof and would require a lot of time for installation. The idea is to use black Ball balls Bird (“Bird balls”) came LADWP biologist Brian white many years ago. And since then, LADWP uses only.
The balls are made from food-grade polyethylene and high density additives have a size of 10 cm and filled with 210 milliliters of water. Before the water is not used, but in Los Angeles there are pretty strong wind, so the balloons were not blown away from the water surface (before they weigh just 40 grams), they decided to partially fill with water. They are not afraid of the heat to 80 degrees Celsius, do not fear frost. Sunlight causes degradation of beads constituting the polymer. Black because they block out all sunlight, which triggers the chemical reaction of formation of bromato. In addition, they use a special black dye that is safe for contact with potable water. With this combination of balls can be repeatedly used under direct sunlight for at least 10 years.
Produce balls several companies in different variations. “Bird” as they are called because they used to close the surface waters and wetlands located in the vicinity of airports. Such balls covered ponds the birds are not interested. Birds just can’t see camouflaged lakes from the air. So — heaven is in the vicinity of runways to be more free.
Another useful feature of the balls is that they drastically reduce the saturation of water with oxygen, inhibiting the growth of algae. Even the balls are capable of a few degrees to lower the point of beginning ice formation on the outdoor pond in the winter. And they significantly reduce the loss of water heat.
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