Hains Pt. to Reopen Open-Air Swimming

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    Great news!–

    May 30, 2017, Washington Examiner’s

    “Hains Point to Reopen Open-Air Swimming Facility

    After a storm of protest over the two-year closing of the Hains Point swimming pool, the Parks Department of the District of Columbia has decided to open a new open-air swim venue near Hains Point.

    Starting this July, and until the Hains Pt. pool renovation is complete, the Parks Service, in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers, will renovate and reopen the old swimming beaches that existed in the Tidal Basin during much of the twentieth century.

    Long-time D.C. residents fondly remember the “swimming holes” that were on the east side of the basin, near the Jefferson Memorial, and the west side, at today’s Martin Luther King Memorial. Luminaries such as Army Chief of Staff George Marshall as well as the general public were accustomed to swim there. The Tidal Basin Natatorium will feature the amenities that the prior beaches sported, including showers and locker rooms. Swimming in the basin, as at the Hains Pt. pool, will be free for city residents. Small fees will be charged for lockers and towels.

    Although swimming is generally prohibited, due to health reasons, in the Potomac River north of National Harbor–except for races such as the Nation’s Triathlon–the water in the Tidal Basin is much cleaner than elsewhere on the river front. This is because the tidal gates at the basin’s west end regularly flush the water in the basin, and the adjacent Washington Channel leading to the southwest waterfront. The gates also discharge debris back into the river proper.

    “We expect the basin’s water to have a bacteria count approximately the same as the Hains Pt. 50-meter pool,” stated a Parks Dept. spokeswoman Wilma Mills. “Very safe for human use.”

    The new Natatorium will be the longest swim course in the city by far. The 107-acre, 250-million-gallon lake will permit a buoy-marked swimming loop of 1.37 miles. Lifeguards will be stationed at rafts every 500 meters, and volunteers will patrol the waters on kayaks and canoes. The basin’s popular paddleboats will continue to be rented to tourists, in an area adjacent to but separate from the swim course. It is expected that paddleboarding and windsurfing will be added to the athletic mix. Further, a deep-water diving platform will be built atop the dome of the Jefferson Memorial.

    In coming years, swimming will be available from the Memorial Day Weekend until October 1. On December 1, in another innovation, the basin will be turned into a skating rink, to supplement the existing skating emporia at Georgetown Harbor and the National Gallery Art Sculpture Garden.

    The tidal gates will also serve as a mechanism for preventing the river’s notorious bull sharks, which infest the area during the summer, from entering the basin. And if the deadly predators find their way their way through the city’s sewer systems into the area, life guards and Coast Guard personnel equipped with harpoons will be ready to fend them off.

    “The Washington region has a dearth of lakes for recreational sports,” added the Parks Service spokeswoman Mills, the daughter of former Rep. Wilbur Mills. “The Tidal Basin pool will help to make up for this lack.””

    Brian Decot

    Is this satire?  “Further, a deep-water diving platform will be built atop the dome of the Jefferson Memorial.”


    This was copied directly from an established media outlet.

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