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Algae strikes recently renovated National Mall reflecting pool

Saturday - 9/22/2012, 7:44am  ET

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The revamped reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument reopened just a few weeks ago, so some visitors were concerned when they saw algae in the pool. (WTOP/Max Smith)
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Max Smith, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The revamped reflecting pool between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument reopened just a few weeks ago, so some visitors were concerned when they saw algae in the pool. But the National Park Service says they are fixing the problem.

The green algae covered the end of the pool closest to the Lincoln Memorial on Friday.

Carol Johnson with the National Park Service says they are still trying to work out the kinks in the new circulation and filtration system. They are now boosting the amount of ozone added in the filtration stage, and have already seen the water quality improve.

The park service plans to skim off some of the algae, while more of it should die off.

As part of the nearly two-year $34 million restoration funded by the stimulus, the pool was rebuilt, and for the first time includes the filtration system, along with a link to the Tidal Basin to use water directly from the Potomac rather than the tap.

The water circulation system includes a drain down the middle of the pool, along with ports to put water back in.

Johnson says the algae is not a consequence of any stagnant water, and the reason why it has clumped at one end or the other is that the algae is blown across the surface by the breeze.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)