Bromate-Breaking Black Balls Barrage Basin

This cool story from an article in the L.A. Times. No snark, I promise.

If you’ve ever lived in L.A., you know that there are a couple immortal topics Angelinos will always find time to talk about: traffic, movies, and drinking water, oddly enough.

In an effort to protect the city’s drinking water, officials with the Department of Water and Power have done some innovative thinking:

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.

For decades, L.A. has complacently let San Francisco spearhead civic and technological innovation, since L.A.’s focus has been entertainment. Here’s to hoping that a few more engineers and scientists decide to call Los Angeles home.


One response to “Bromate-Breaking Black Balls Barrage Basin

  1. Pingback: The Week In Revue 7.8.12 « Dispatches from Pangaea·

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