The National Park Service announced on June 9 its plans for cleaning up the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool after a water-borne parasite led to the death of around 80 ducks. This action began on Sunday, June 11, and should be completed by Monday, June 19.
The National Park Service issued a press release on the matter in which it also offered details as to the reason behind this new action. According to the authority, beginning with May 20 and May 21, some 80 ducklings have been found dead on the Reflecting pool. Reports state that around 53 deceased birds were detected in a single day.
Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Getting a Very Necessary Treatment
Based on the high numbers, the National Wildlife Health Center of the U.S. Geological Survey decided to carry out necropsies, which seemed to indicate the presence of water-borne parasites. Namely, very high levels of the parasite. This can develop and grow in the snails living in the Reflecting Pool.
The National Park Service stated that, in this case, chemical treatments only are not sufficient. To fully reduce and clean the pool of the snail and parasite population, they decided to completely drain it. The Pool will then be cleaned, treated and then refilled and reopened.
Authorities started draining the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on June 11, last Sunday. This process should take about two days. Starting tomorrow, June 13, crews should begin cleaning the pool. If all goes according to plan, the pool should be clean, refilled, and once again operational by next Monday, June 19. The refill is scheduled to begin Friday, June 16.
After the cleaning and treatment are completed, the National Park Services will continue monitoring and testing the pool’s water quality.
Authorities stated that humans that come into contact with the waters of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool are at an extremely low risk of contracting the parasite. They would have to hold a sustained contact with the water, for example by wading or swimming in it, which is strictly forbidden, though not unheard of.
Those who do contract the parasite ca develop cercarial dermatitis or the so-called “swimmer’s itch”. An allergic reaction in the form of a skin rash, this rarely requires medical treatment and is not contagious.
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