Officials from the US National Park Service are draining the reflecting pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, after a parasite in the water killed 80 ducklings in recent weeks.
Chemical treatments failed to rid the water of the fowl-slaying microbe, which grows on snails that live in the pool. The park service started to drain the pool today (June 11); the process will take about two days, after which the pool will be cleaned and refilled.
While deadly for ducks, the parasite poses at worst discomfort to humans. The park service warned that people who wade or swim in the water (which is not allowed, anyway) risk cercarial dermatitis, or “swimmer’s itch.” This is not the weekend for grand pool-based gestures.