Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Department of Parks and Recreation

DC Agency Top Menu

-A +A
Bookmark and Share

DPR Releases Guidance Regarding Swim Attire Requirements for District Pools

Monday, July 22, 2013
DPR Provides Detailed Guidance Around the Pre-Existing Swim Attire Policies

DPR Customer Service:  (202) 673-7647

DPR Aquatics Division:  (202) 671-1289

DPR Media Contact:  John Stokes, (202) 288-7275, [email protected]


(WASHINGTON, DC) – The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) reminds patrons of the current DPR Swim Attire Requirements for all District pools; and provides a more illustrated guide.

The current requirements are as follows:

  • All persons on the pool deck and/or swimming in the pool must have on proper swim attire.
  • All infants/toddlers that require a diaper must wear swimmer diapers and proper swimwear.
  • Clean cotton t-shirts and sarongs are allowed on the pool deck, however patrons must have on proper swim attire underneath.
  • The following attire is not allowed at District pools:
    • "Street clothes," Brazil/French-cut, thong style and/or revealing swim wear, cut-off jeans, jeans, skirts, shorts, sport bras, leotards, leggings, dri-fit wear, compression shorts and compression shirts are prohibited.  Underwear and undergarments are not allowed to be worn under swimsuits.

Pool patrons often ask, "Why do I have to wear proper swimwear?"  Here are just a few reasons as to why it is important to only wear pool attire in the pool.

  1. Street clothes (especially cotton) can transport airborne and ultimately water borne contaminants into the pool.

  2. Lycra and Nylon are the best non-absorbent material for swimming and are the best fabrics for proper swim attire.

    • Other absorbent materials (such as cotton) can break down in the water and cause fibers to clog filters.
    • Any “colored” material (unless specifically made for swimming) can bleed into the pool, affecting water chemistry and balance. This is also a reason for turbidity in pools.

  3. Cotton and similar materials can absorb the chemicals in the water, causing the water to become less effective at maintaining the proper chemical balance or may cloud the water.

(Please see photos below.)



For more information on DPR's Aquatics Division, visit the DPR website or click on the pages below.

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation reserves the right to deny use of DPR pool and/or spa facilities for non-approved swimwear.

If you are unsure if your swimwear meets DPR's guidelines, please check with facility management or call DPR's Aquatics Division at (202) 671-1289 (during normal business hours).

For information on DPR facilities, programs & activities, follow DPR on
Facebook, Twitter, Join our Mailing List or visit the DPR Website.