Carol Johnson, National Park Service spokesperson, says Reflecting Pool cleanup is a maintenance problem

4:43 PM, Oct 4, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Crews have drained the Reflecting Pool to clean up the unsightly green algae that took over the landmark.
It had just reopened at the end of August after a 2 year, 34 million dollar renovation project.

The National Park Service Spokeswoman Carol Johnson says, "We are going to do it as quickly as possible. In the old pool it use to take 2-3 weeks. We are going to do it much quicker than that."
They're hosing off and scrubbing away the green muck.
It's not what the kids from Landon and Holton-Arms schools in Bethesda were hoping to see on their class trip 9-year-old Connor Taylor says, "Now all I see is tons of green stuff in the water."

Johnson says, "Yes, it's frustrating that we had to do this so quickly. It's a maintenance problem, we are going to get it right once the water gets back in."

The landmark had just reopened at the end of August after a 2 year hiatus.
Johnson says, "what people need to understand is we have a new filtering system, using Tidal Basin water instead of city water. It will save
32 million gallons of drinking water every year."

The renovations included reinforcing the bottom so millions of gallons wouldn't leak out every month, it saves drinking water but they never imagined their green project would literally turn green.

Johnson says, "We didn't get the calibration right, this is a new system. We're trying to figure it out. We really feel like we've got it now."

To solve the green problem, the National Park Service uses a gas or ozone to kill the algae and now has doubled the dose. But the fix doesn't come in time for Tess Armstrong's field trip.
"We were expecting to see how cool it was but maybe next time."

Their chaperone says, "We are on plan be, counting squares."
NPS says it will cost $100 thousand dollars to drain and clean the reflecting pool. There are 65 contractors and staff on site cleaning up. They normally have to drain a couple of times a year. But the new pool will only need to be drained once a year. It takes at least 3 days to fill up the pool.
NPS says the algae doubles every four hours.

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