Wanted: Charity organization to accept free-standing, above-ground, round pool. New liner, new filter, deck included. No strings attached, except one. New owner must tote the pool off the premises.

Easy giveaway, you think? Think again.

For the past three weeks, Gary and Joyce Sweeney of Upper Marlboro have been trying unsuccessfully, through the United Way, to donate their 4-foot-deep pool to any charity that will dismantle it, crate it and carry it away.

The Sweeneys moved into their home last August, hoping they'd eventually get rid of the monstrosity they didn't think they would use.

"We have no children and barely have time to take care of it, much less use it," Joyce Sweeney, said yesterday from the District law office where she is a receptionist.

"We're also considering renting out the house, in which case we certainly wouldn't want it. The thing is just a headache. We just don't want to deal with it," she said.

And neither do the charity organizations. Herb Kenny, regional director of the Prince George's United Way chapter, said he spent two full days on the phone, trying to coax local charities to take a plunge in a real deal.

"Three responses were common," Kenny said. "First, they said they didn't have the manpower to transport it. Second, they didn't have staff lifeguards, and third, they didn't want to deal with liability."

But liability insurance for a pool is no more expensive than the cost of a regular homeowner or business policy, according to Jeffrey Crouch of Crouch Insurance Service in Fairfax.

"There's really no distinction between the two," Crouch said. "Most businesses, even charities have liability coverage. Getting hurt in a pool is no different than getting hurt falling on the sidewalk. The cost of the policy is solely based on the amount of coverage one has. Liability is liability."

However, according to Kenny, a pool is not a pool. "Transporting the pool, maintaining it and just worrying about the safety is perceived as a big headache," he said. "Pools are fun if you don't have to take care of them."

Still, in case any charities are curious, a new 4-foot, 7,612-gallon pool at Sears lists for $649.99.