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Pool Rules and Safety

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) operates indoor pools year-round. Outdoor pools and spray parks are open across the District for the summer. DPR wants to remind all adults, children, youth, and families that your safety is our number one priority. And because of that, it is vital that all pool patrons respect the authority of lifeguards, pool staff, and DPR aquatics rules and policies at all times.

Safety Break Policy

Safety Breaks occur on the (45) of every hour for 15 minutes.
All children and guardians must exit the pool during safety breaks. This requirement lowers the risk of the spread of germs and recreational water illnesses. Additionally, pool goers can hydrate, use restrooms, reapply sunscreen, and seek shade.

"ALL OUT" NOTE: During periods of excessive heat and peak utilization, DPR may require all pool patrons to get out of the water, regardless of age.

Swim Test Policy 

Any patron who wishes to enter the deep end of the pool may be asked to complete a swim test at the lifeguard's behest. 
Ask any staff member for assistance should you need to complete one.

Pool Admission Policies

  • Pool users must abide by all posted rules and lifeguard directives. Failure to do so can result in ejection from the facility.
  • Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult of 18 years and over at all times.
  • Children younger than 6 years must be accompanied by an adult—in swim attire—at all times and must be within arm's length of the adult when in the pool. One adult can only accompany a maximum of three children, 6 years of age and younger. The ratio for this age group is 1 adult for every 3 children (1:3).
  • Parents with children ages 6 to 12 cannot be responsible for a group larger than 6. The ratio for this age group is 1 adult for every 6 children (1:6).
  • All parents with children, ages 6 and up, must use gender-appropriate locker rooms/family changing rooms. If you have special needs or require assistance, please contact a DPR Aquatics staff member or pool manager.
  • The actions and conduct of an organized group are the responsibility of the group leader(s). Misconduct of individuals may result in the dismissal of the group.
  • Swim attire is required both on the pool deck and in the pool area.
  • No pets are allowed on pool premises—except guide dogs—and only on deck, not in the pool.
  • Persons with open wounds, rashes, nasal discharge, inflamed eyes or bandages are not allowed in the pool.
  • Persons who appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs will not be permitted in the pool or in the surrounding area.
  • Persons on medication must have authorization from their physicians to swim.
  • Infants/children not toilet trained, and incontinent adults must wear swimsuit diapers or snug plastic pants under their swimsuits. Diapers (cloth and disposable) are prohibited.
  • Food consumption and glass containers are prohibited on the premises.
  • No bicycles or strollers are allowed on the pool deck.
  • No weapons.
  • No smoking, alcohol, or banned substances.

Pool Rules

  • No swimming when the pool is closed
  • No swimming when a lifeguard is not on duty
  • You must pass DPR "Deep-water Test" to use the deep end
  • No running on the deck
  • No dunking, splashing, or horseplay inside the pool
  • No diving in any depth under 5 ½ feet
  • No toys, floating devices, snorkels, or masks allowed in the pool—unless part of an authorized class
  • No gum, spitting, spouting, nose blowing, or urinating in the pool
  • No consumption of food or glass containers allowed in the pool area
  • Socializing with or distracting the lifeguard on duty is prohibited
  • Only appropriate swim attire is allowed in the pool
  • Aqua shoes are only to be worn during Water Aerobic Sessions as long as they are clean and free of all foreign debris. Elderly or handicapped patrons who wish to wear aqua shoes must present a doctor’s note stating the need for the use of aqua shoes

Guests will be dismissed from the facility for the following reasons:

  • Improper conduct
  • Causing injury to others
  • Intoxication
  • Improper swimwear
  • Failing to obey all rules
  • Locker Room Rules
  • Protect your valuables—DPR is not responsible for any lost or stolen items.
  • You must soap and shower your entire body before entering the pool.
  • No loitering in the locker room or showers.
  • No videotaping or photography is allowed in locker rooms or showers.
  • Consumption of food and glass containers is prohibited in the locker room.
  • Appropriate swim attire is required in the pool area.
  • Leaving one or more children, 6 years old or under, who reasonably appear to be unsupervised or unattended anywhere in or on the pool premises.
  • Improperly using pool restrooms, including shaving and exceeding more than one person in a restroom stall (unless accompanying children or adults in need of assistance). 

Spa Pool Rules

  • Persons should not remain in this pool for more than 15 minutes per hour. Longer exposure may be dangerous.
  • Hydrotherapy pool use is restricted to adults 18 and older and youth 14-17 years accompanied by an adult.
  • Observe the time limit to avoid nausea, dizziness, fainting, and heat stroke.
  • Pregnant women and persons suffering from heart disease, diabetes, high or low blood pressure should not enter the hydrotherapy pool without prior medical consultation.
  • Do not use this pool while under the influence of any type of alcohol, drugs, anticoagulants, antihistamines, vasoconstrictors, vasodilators, stimulants, hypnotics, narcotics, or tranquilizers.
  • Submerging your head underwater is not advised, doing so increases the danger of hypothermia.
  • Water Safety Tips for Children
  • Never take your eyes off of children in the pool—even for a moment! If you’re in a group, appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
  • Don’t rely on water wings or other inflatable toys. If your child can’t swim, stay within arm’s reach.
  • Lifejackets are strongly recommended for all non-swimmers (they are free and available at all DPR Aquatic facilities).
  • While supervising, stay alert and avoid distractions like reading or the telephone.
  • Teach children to swim after age 4. DPR offers learn-to-swim courses for all ages.
  • Teach children how to tread water, float and get out of the pool.
  • Tell children to stay away from pool and hot tub drains.
  • Tie up long hair securely to guard against drain entanglement.
  • If you find a drain cover that is loose, report it immediately, and do not enter the pool.
  • Learn infant and child CPR.

Entrance information