Everything Was Fine, Until the Algae Started Eating Tourists.

CC image via dctim1 on Flickr

A month ago, the National Park Service wrapped up a big repair project at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The project, which sucked up $34 million “stimulus” dollars was supposed to leave the pool in better condition while also making it more “sustainable” and make the water quality better.

So far, so good. The memorial looks great. It’s not leaking water, which it used to do because it’s a giant concrete (or mostly concrete) pool sitting on what was originally swamp land. Sure, it cost us a lot of money we’ll have to pay back one day, but it’s the Lincoln Memorial. I, for one, want it to last a good long while.

And it will, at least until the algae takes over.

Yep, the “sustainable” pool is experiencing a bit of an algae bloom right now, which isn’t exactly improving the quality of the water. Officials say they need to tweak the amount of ozone in the water and blame the problem on a new system and bad water from DC. They say they’ll get it right, and I’m sure they eventually will, but shouldn’t we expect just a little bit better considering the price tag?

Or is this just a case where nature is big and complex and sometimes things like this happen, even on expensive projects that come with all sorts of pink cloud unicorn talk about sustainability and government competence?

  • http://trommetter.com/log/ Jason

    If you can keep swimming pool water with chemicals you should be able to keep the reflecting pool on the National Mall clear with chemicals. Who cares if it’s not “sustainable?” It needs to be beautiful 365 days a year because of it’s significance.

    • Jim

      Except that it is empty during the winter months to prevent the freezing water from cracking the pipes. UV Light filters would achieve the same thing without all the chemicals in the water…

  • Ron

    This is from the same people that say, “I know it works in practice, but does it work in theory?”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=692351109 Vera Marciano

    More waste!!! It can end in Nov. GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000673881337 Ed Schaibley

    No, we borrowed $34 million for this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=783386589 Ruth Hobbs Semendinger

    Heard on the news last night, they’ve already sunk $100K into getting rid of the algae. Still have a week’s work left. Wonder what the final cost will be?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1116566795 Debbie Anderson

    And how many people in our country are going hungry? And WHY?!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001576492070 Steve Sanders

    It’s probably George Bush’s fault.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001083942943 Bill Butler

    The gubernut was involved and this is where the problem started! We need to privatize a lot of activities done by the gubernut as it will be done better and for less cost!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=376823452349883 Barry Soetoro

    and the tax payers have to pay it back

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001414356264 David Grimsrud

    Obama is making Ethanol from the algea, leave it alone

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=593094830 Brett Malone

    I could have fixed that pond with $100.00 of Clorox.