A water-borne parasite in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool has killed around 80 ducks since late May, according to the National Park Service.
Snails that live in the pool caused “high levels of parasites,” the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center said.
The contaminated water only posed a risk to humans if there was prolonged contact with the water, like swimming or wading. The parasite could cause an allergic reaction resulting in swimmer’s itch or a skin rash, the agency said.
Chemical treatments won’t fix the problem, so the NPS has started draining the pool for cleaning.
It takes two days to fully drain the pool before cleaning can begin. The NPS said it expects the iconic landmark and popular tourist destination to reopen June 19.
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