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After 80 ducklings found deceased the “Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to be Drained, Cleaned” Starting Sunday

by Prince Of Petworth June 9, 2017 at 4:00 pm 12 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Ian Livingston


From NPS:

“The National Park Service will drain the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool starting Sunday, June 11 for cleaning and treatment of a water-borne parasite that has affected the local duck population. The pool should be refilled and operational again on Monday, June 19.

Beginning May 20 and 21, approximately 80 ducklings have been found deceased in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Necropsy performed on the ducks by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center suggests the cause of death was high levels of parasites that develop and grow in snails that live in the pool. Chemical treatments alone are not sufficient to fully reduce the parasite and snail population, so the pool must be drained and cleaned.

Humans who come in contact with the parasite could develop “swimmer’s itch” (cercarial dermatitis), an allergic reaction in the form of a skin rash; it is not contagious and rarely requires medical treatment. The risk of contracting it at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is extremely low, as it is only contracted by sustained contact with affected water, such as swimming or wading.

It will take approximately two days for the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to fully drain, and crews will begin cleaning the pool bottom on Tuesday, June 13 utilizing skid steers, pumper and water trucks, and a sprayer. The cleaning should be complete and refilling will begin on Friday, June 16. After the cleaning and treatment are complete, the National Park Service will continue to monitor the water quality of the pool.”

  • Blithe



  • textdoc

    Poor ducklings. :(

  • Marty

    surprised that snails are able to make it inside the pool. that’s a heck of a trip from wherever they originated.

    • John B.

      Their eggs are carried in mud on the feet of ducks. (I’m not kidding.)

  • L

    omg that is so depressing!!!! Glad they are taking action.

  • Easyenough

    I’ve been biking (slowly) through those ducklings every day for the past week. Didn’t see any this morning. Wish there was a different reason.

  • JMo

    Ugh… poor things.

  • Jeff

    The condition of the reflecting pond has always pissed me off. Can anyone explain why that water isn’t recycled and filtered? It’s a huge cesspool and mosquito incubator.

    • JoDa

      I thought the massive renovation they did a few years ago was supposed to cycle the water to prevent things like this (plus mosquito breeding, algae growth, etc.).


    ugh, this makes me sad :-( I hope they can come up with a viable solution to keeping the parasite levels in the water low. Keeping ducks away from a large body of water like this is probably impossible.

  • Not telling

    You leave us with this depressing news at the start of this weekend?!?

  • Chantel

    Put some fish in it and top of the line filtration system


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