List of Swimming Pools Rules & Regulations

Updated March 23, 2017

Public swimming pools make it possible for large numbers of people to enjoy water sports, health-related activities, and just relax by the water. The best way to ensure you will continue to be able to enjoy your local swimming pool, or one you are visiting is to obey the rules. Pool owners have a list of rules for your safety, and regulations they must legally follow.


Swim at your own risk. This simple rule is common with, or without a lifeguard on duty. When a pool owner employs a lifeguard a sign can include a no swim policy when the guard is not on duty. However, regardless of whether there is, or isn't a lifeguard, there must be a sign in plain view that lets swimmers know they are responsible for their own health. This is for their own safety as well as for legal protection for the pool owner.


New York is one state that has an alarm that triggers automatically when a child enters the water. The only pools exempt from the regulation are those with automatic safety covers, or hot tubs with covers.


Inground outdoor public and residential pools must have a barrier at least 4 feet high that clearly obstructs all entry points to the pool when it is closed. Above ground pools need a ladder that is removable, or folds up to prohibit access. All barriers and ladder closures must prevent anything larger than 4 inches in diameter from entry and keep any other means of mechanical or rigged entry from accessing the water.


Drains, suction exits, outlets, and vacuum pressure fittings all must meet individual state requirements.


Children must be supervised by an adult. There should be at least one adult per six children between 6 and 17 years of age. For any children under six there should be one adult per child.


Off limit areas need clear signage to restrict access. This includes maintenance areas where highly caustic chemicals are involved.

Emergency Information

Emergency phone numbers for fire, police and rescue workers should be in clear sight.

Food and Drinks

Food and drinks allowed is at the discretion of the owner, but no glass bottles or jars are allowed to avoid the possibility of injury from broken glass. Swimmers must not be under the influence of an alcoholic product.


Street clothes are not permitted. Children who are not toilet trained, or incontinent adults must wear clean diapers that fit snugly around the waist and legs.


No swimming with any open sores, band-aid covered openings, transmittable diseases, inflamed eyes, cold, eye or nasal discharge, or any inflammations. All swimmers must take a shower before entering the pool.


No long-term underwater swimming. Running or rough play should not occur anywhere on the grounds or in the pool. Diving in any water under eighteen feet deep is restricted. There should also be no loitering on the premises.The use of swim toys and water paraphernalia is at the discretion of management, but should be clearly posted.

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About the Author

Tami Parrington is the author of five novels along with being a successful SEO and content writer for the past three years. Parrington's journalism experience includes writing for eHow on medical, health and home-related topics as well as writing articles about the types of animals she has raised for years.