Pool Rules & FAQs
Durham Parks and Recreation Pool Rules
- Patrons must obey the lifeguard(s) and not distract them from performing their duties.
- Swimmers must shower before entering the pool.
- Diving is permitted only in the deep end of the pool (6’depth or greater).
- Running is not allowed on the pool deck.
- Inflatable objects are not allowed in the pool.
- An adult (18 years old or above) must be in the water with any child who is either five (5) years old or younger, or less than 4 feet tall. Supervision of these children must not exceed two (2) children per adult. If an adult has two children with him of this age/size, the children should be wearing floatation devices.*
- Children ages six (6) through nine (9) years old may swim on their own if they are at least 4 feet tall. However, an adult must be present in the pool area with children of this age.*
- Floatation devices may be worn if securely strapped to the body. Inflatable devices are not allowed. Children wearing floatation devices must be actively supervised by an adult. These children are not allowed in the deep end of the pool, unless supervised by a staff instructor.
- Youth participants must pass a supervised swim test before entering the deep end. Lifeguards administer swim tests and a deep end wrist band will be secured on the participants who successfully pass the test. (Participants must take the swim test upon each and every visit to the facility* and participants will have only one attempt, per day, to pass the swim test)
- Only lap swimmers and scuba class participants are allowed the use of masks (which cover the nose) and snorkels. The use of fins is only allowed by these same individuals and participants in swim lessons.
- Only lap swimmers and participants in water exercise classes and swim lessons are allowed the use of kickboards, aqua dumbbells, aqua training belts, and noodles. They are not allowed for recreational usage without approval.
- Horseplay in the pool and pool area is not allowed (this includes dunking, spitting, pushing, kicking, excessive splashing, chicken fights, unnecessary screaming, towel snapping, etc.).
- Twirling jumps, flips, and back dives are not permitted from the side of the pool. Running starts are not allowed prior to jumping in the pool.
- Squirt guns, rocks, tennis balls, or any other items that endanger the safety or enjoyment of other swimmers are not permitted in the pool area.
- Persons may not hang on, or climb over, railings, ladders, lane lines, or starting blocks.
- Use of the starting blocks is not allowed (except by swim team members under the supervision of their coach and program participants under the supervision of a staff instructor).
- Swimming underwater for extended distances and holding breath underwater for extended periods of time will not be allowed.
- Persons may not chew gum at the pool.
- Eating is not allowed in the pool, on the pool deck, or in the locker rooms. Drinking is allowed, provided beverage is non-alcoholic and contained in a plastic bottle with a closeable lid.
- Glass objects are not permitted at the pool.
- Pets are not permitted at the pool (unless they provide a service to the owner).
- All patrons must wear proper swimming attire in the pool.
- Swim diapers or rubber pants are required for children not toilet trained and for people with incontinence. Diapers may not be changed on the pool deck.
- Band-aids are not to be worn in the pool.
- Persons with open wounds and sores on their body are not permitted to enter the water.
- Swimmers are not permitted in the pool or pool area during severe storms.
- Spectators must remain in the designated observation areas.
- The use of profanity is prohibited.
- Inappropriate displays of affection are not allowed.
- Smoking and tobacco products are prohibited on City of Durham property.
- The possession of alcohol or drugs is prohibited. Anyone suspected of being under the influence will be asked to leave the facility.
- Durham Parks and Recreation is not responsible for lost, left, or stolen items.
Aquatics Frequently Asked Questions
Can we wear t-shirts in the pool? Do I need to wear a bathing suit?
All patrons must wear proper swimming attire in the pool. There are additional exceptions for the outdoor pools which are: males can wear athletic shorts with a functional drawstring and boxers/briefs underneath and females can wear athletic shorts with a functional drawstring and panties underneath. Females can also wear a t-shirt with a sports bra underneath.
Do we provide towels/lockers?
We do not provide towels. All of the pools have lockers available for patron use. Patrons are encouraged to bring a lock to secure their belongings.
Can we use flotation devices?
U.S. Coast Guard approved floatation devices (life jackets) are allowed but not inflatable devices or toys. Parents must remain with children in flotation devices and they are not allowed in the deep end. There are a limited number of life jackets available for patron use at each pool.
Can we use mask, fins and snorkels?
During recreational swim, only goggles, which cover just the eyes, are allowed. Masks, fins, and snorkels are allowed during lap swim times and snorkel classes.
Can we bring noodles, kickboards and other toys?
During recreational swim noodles, kickboards and other swim and exercise aides are not permitted. Toys such as squirt guns, balls and other items that endanger the safety or enjoyment of other swimmers are not permitted.
Do I have to get into the water with my child?
Yes, if your child is 5 years old or younger, and/or is less than 4 ½ feet tall, an adult, 18 years or older, must be in the water with them. Children 6-9 years old who are more than 4 ½ feet tall can swim on their own but an adult must be present in the pool area with them.
I don’t swim but I would like to come to the pool to exercise. Do I have to come during recreational swim?
If you would like to exercise on your own you can come during any of the lap swim times. Recreational swim is unstructured time for everyone.