While yesterday the world was ogling over the iPhone 3G black body, some people were just awing over black balls. 400,000 of them. Black balls everywhere, bouncing, swinging, cavorting, happily hopping down the side of the Ivanhoe Reservoir with two objectives. First, to fight bromate by stopping sunlight, which forms this carcinogenic component mixing the chlorine and bromide in the water. Second, to let me use "bouncy black balls" in a headline.
It took 30 minutes to unload all the balls from 190 giant bags into the 10-acre, 220-million litre water reservoir that serves 600,000 people in downtown and South L.A.
The move to deploy the balls—3,000,000 will follow soon—comes after Los Angeles Department of Water and Power officials registered high levels of bromate between June and October 2007. Although these weren't dangerous enough to put the population in risk or call Jack Bauer, the department thought that it would better to be safe than sorry.