A big day in Silver Lake as 400,000 bird balls--black, hollow balls--went sliding down the concrete banks of Ivanhoe Reservoir. As the city overhauls its water reservoirs, today's ball drop was intended to both protect the water from the sun (the balls act as protective discs) and to keep birds from landing on the reservoir (the birds may foul the water). "It's a weird feeling for the birds," said James B. McDaniel, chief operating officer at the DWP. "If they land [on the balls], they won't stay." Sure, but there will always be those few birds who'll like the feeling, right? "I'm a bird at a water theme park! Wohoo! It's like tubing!" Yeah, McDaniel didn't seem to like that suggestion.
More information via McDaniel and Brian White, biologist for the DWP:
---Eventually, 3 million black balls will fill the reservoir. They will stay in the reservoir for 3-5 years.
---The balls are being made by Orange Products, a company out of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The city has a contract with Orange Products, which will deliver 200,000 new balls a week to the reservoir. Basically, Orange Products has shut down work on everything else just to make our balls.
---Was there another color option other than black? No, there was not.
---The balls cost 34 cents each. All together, the balls are costing $2 million. Paid by for you, dear water user.
--The balls are non-toxic and UVA-stable (the sun won't affect them).