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DC's not-so-reflecting pool is full of algae after $34 million renovation

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Children look at Ducks in the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial that is full of algae after recently being filled with water, on Sept. 26, in Washington, DC. National Park Service officials have hired a contractor to remove the algae that has appeared after a two year, $34 million renovation of the pool.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A jogger runs past the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial that is full of algae after recently being filled with water on Sept. 26, in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A Duck is half way submerged in the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial that is full of algae after recently being filled with water, on Sept. 26, in Washington, DC.

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool reopened to the public at the end of August, after an almost two-year renovation costing $34 million. After being recently filled back up with water, it is now full of algae. Ironically, the new pool was intended to "improve the reflectivity of the water" with tinted concrete.  According to Reuters:

"With this renovation, we have given the Reflecting Pool a much-needed overhaul and brought its engineering into the 21st century," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said.

The 90-year-old pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial that also reflects the soaring Washington Monument had provided one of the capital's most-photographed views.

But the reflecting pool, which is about 160 feet wide and 2,100 feet long, had degraded badly over the decades.

Built on marshland without pilings for support, the original pool had sunk, causing cracks and leaks. The pool held 6.75 million gallons (25.6 million liters) of water but lost an estimated 500,000 gallons (1.9 million liters) a week to leaks and evaporation, the statement said.

Because the pool lacked a circulation system, it had to be emptied, cleaned and refilled twice a year. Read more.

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Less than a month after the memorial's extensive renovations, the shallow reflecting pool has been inundated with algae from incoming Tidal Basin water. NBC's Savannah Guthrie reports.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Tourist walk past the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial that is full of algae after recently being filled with water, on Sept. 26, in Washington, DC.

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