News Splash: D.C.’s Outdoor Swimming Pools to Open Saturday 


Public outdoor swimming pools in the District and Ward 2 are opening to full capacity on weekends only, starting Saturday, May 29, to Sunday, June 27. From June 28 through Sept. 6, pools will be open six days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; each with a different one-day closure per week. This includes Ward 2’s three public outdoor pools.

Opening days for Ward 2 pools include the Francis Pool on 2435 N St. NW on each day of the week but Tuesdays; the Jelleff pool at 3265 S St. NW is closed Wednesdays, but open the rest of the week; the Volta Park pool at 1555 34th St. NW is closed Mondays, but open the rest of the week. The East Potomac Pool, next to the public golf course is currently closed for renovations.

Pools that reach maximum capacity will follow a “one in, one out” policy.  But there is no stated time limit for swimmers admitted. At all pools, the locker rooms, lockers, and showers are available for use. Rules stipulate that all swimmers must soap and shower entire body before entering pool. Locker room rules against loitering and photography also apply.

General pool rules include: No swimming when lifeguard is not on duty, no running on deck, dunking, splashing, or horseplay. There is a general no smoking policy at all pools. Consumption of food is not allowed in the pool area, nor are glass containers. No gum, spitting, spouting, nose blowing or urinating in the pool. Pool users can be ejected for improper conduct including causing injury to others, intoxication, and failure to comply with rules.

Only appropriate swim attire is allowed in D.C. public pools. 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 their use. Swimmers must pass a DPR “Deep-water Test” to use the deep end and no diving in any depth under five-and-a-half feet is allowed.

Special rules apply for minors. Children under the age of 13 must be accompanied and supervised by an adult of 18 years and over at all times. Socializing with or distracting the lifeguard on duty is prohibited (reporter’s note: no matter how buff).

Children younger than 6 years-old must be accompanied by an adult—in swim attire—at all times, and must be within an arm’s length of the adult when in the pool. One adult can only accompany a maximum of three children, 6 years of age or 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 six (1:6). All parents with children, ages 6 and up, must use “gender-appropriate” locker rooms/family changing rooms.

As in the past, all the pools will be staffed by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation. Some positions will be filled, as in the past, by lifeguards trained by D.C.’s Department of Parks and Recreation International Lifeguard Training Program (ILTP). Training programs are held throughout the summer and are free to applicants who meet basic swimming pre-requisite skills and qualifications.

Pool attendees with special needs or who require assistance are asked to contact a DPR Aquatics staff member or pool manager.

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