Swimming Pool Rules – Going Beyond the State Code to Make your Facility Safer

Swimming Pool Rules


It is time to reconsider your swimming pool rules? Aquatic facility managers have a responsibility to protect our patrons and employees. Your swimming pool rules can act as a great layer of patron protection. When was the last time you reviewed them? Let’s take a look at the required swimming pool rules, common additions most facilities enforce, and some other protocols you may want to consider.

State Requirements

Operators considering their pool rules should start with their state code. State health departments (and in some cases, county health departments) will set forth a required set of pool rules to be posted. These typically focus on public health risks associated with swimming pools. A full listing of state and country requirements can be found here. general-pool-rules

What is usually covered?

  • Showering before entry
  • Age requirements of swimmers
  • Solo-swimming restrictions
  • Pollution of pool water
  • Food, beverage, glass protocols
  • Hours of operation and occupancy requirements
  • Additional codes for hot water facilities
  • Known infection protocols and restrictions


Additional Best Practices

Is “no running” a rule at your pool? You bet, but that’s a rule that you won’t find in most state codes. Operators and managers should consider additional risks at their facility. Rules should go above and beyond the state requirements to mitigate these risks. Doing so will make patrons safer, while adding a layer of legal protection to facilities.

What else should you consider?

  • Adult supervision requirements
  • Swim aids and flotation device protocol
  • Deep water access and testing
  • Additional rules for diving boards, water slides and aquatic play features
  • Running, rough play and behavior guidelines


Others to Consider

With a keen eye and some diligent tracking, operators can identify other high-risk areas of their specific facility. They may also find that additional rules improve the visitor experience for their patrons.

What specifics may impact your facility safety or user experience?supervision-signage

  • Breath holding restrictions
  • Swim apparel guidelines
  • Lap lane etiquette
  • Swim diaper protocols
  • Rules regarding cameras, cell phones and other devices
  • Bathroom, locker room and changing room standards


Combining state required rules with additional restrictions and protocols specific to each facility will reduce risks to patrons and personnel, while adding additional legal protection to the facility and its management team.

These lists are not exclusive – in fact, they’ve been condensed to highlight the large range of possibilities each operator must consider. For more information, or a review of your pool rules, please contact our office.