Lincoln reflecting pool clouded by algae

Sept. 26, 2012 at 3:57 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- The iconic Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, open not a month since being drained for repairs, is clouded by algae.

The National Park Service, which maintains the National Mall and the monuments situated there, said the water needs to have a greater ozone level and that a plan to filter out the algae will have to wait until officials are certain it won't bloom again, The Washington Post reported.

The Lincoln Memorial and its reflecting pool just underwent a $34 million renovation and reopened to visitors less than a month ago, at which point the reflecting pool was filled -- and actually reflecting Honest Abe's imposing posture and the Washington Monument at the center of the mall, rather than looking like "split pea soup," as one visitor described it to the Post.

Officials blamed a part of the renovation that saw the reflecting pool begin to use the nearby tidal basin as its water source, rather than municipal drinking water. The change saves the District of Columbia $32 million per year on its water bill, but because the reflecting pool is shallow and thereby warmer, it makes for ideal conditions for algae to bloom once it enters the supply, the newspaper said Tuesday.

"This is a direct consequence of the fact that this is a green project," park service spokeswoman Carol Johnson said. "The conditions are pretty good for algae, once it gets in there."

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