80 ducks die from parasite in National Mall reflecting pool - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

80 ducks die from parasite in National Mall reflecting pool

The iconic reflecting pool is set to reopen June 19, after the National Park Service clears it of a parasite. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) The iconic reflecting pool is set to reopen June 19, after the National Park Service clears it of a parasite. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (RNN) – The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool will be closed until June 19 while the National Parks Service drains and cleans the water.

They decided to drain the pool, located on the National Mall, after nearly 80 ducks were found dead in it since May 20. The cleaning began June 11.

According to the NPS, a water-borne parasite carried by snails was responsible for killing the ducks.

The parasite usually poses no serious threat to humans, but it may cause swimmer’s itch. It’s also unlikely any visitors to the memorial contracted the parasite, as sustained contact with the water is uncommon.

The reflecting pool was restored in 2012 after it was found to be leaking 500,000 gallons of water a week. During that restoration, the water supply system was updated to remove stagnant water from the pool.

The Lincoln Memorial and its reflecting pool were built in 1922 to commemorate the former president. It has become an iconic venue for political action since its dedication. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 from the steps of the memorial.    

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