Deep cleaning to suck up goose poop in Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

The National Park Service should be wrapping up the cleaning work of the reflecting pool by the end of this week and hope to begin to refill the pool this weekend.

The National Park Service is undertaking its annual deep cleaning of the pool. (WTOP/Shayna Estulin)

The pool is drained of the 4 million gallons of water before anything else can be done. (WTOP/Shayna Estulin)

“Normally, most of what’s found is an awful lot of goose poop, duck poop … for lack of a better term,” National Mall spokesman Mike Litterst says. (WTOP/Shayna Estulin)

(1/4)

If you were wondering why the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in D.C. looks much emptier much than usual, there’s a good reason.

The National Park Service is undertaking its annual deep cleaning of the pool.



Mike Litterst, spokesman for the National Mall, said that it’s done every year, in late winter or early spring.

First, they drain the 4 million gallons of water from the pool, then they clean the bottom of the pool with a variety of equipment, including vacuum trucks, water trucks, track loaders with broom attachments and hand tools, such as brushes and shovels, to get the last of the debris out, Litterst said.

“Normally, most of what’s found is an awful lot of goose poop, duck poop … for lack of a better term,” Litterst said. “A single goose can produce 1 to 2 pounds a day, and after a year, there are several inches built up that need to be dealt with.”

He said crews should be wrapping up the cleaning work by the end of this week and hope to begin to refill the pool this weekend. They expect the entire process to be completed, and the Reflecting Pool fully refilled, sometime next week, Litterst said.

Shayna Estulin

Shayna Estulin is an anchor/reporter for WTOP. She started her career in New York City as a local TV reporter and has since covered foreign affairs and national politics as a Washington correspondent. She also anchored a nightly news show for an international network.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2022 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up