Swimming is a hobby for many people. What is slightly restricting about pools, though, is their hours. Night-time swimming is not feasible most of the time. But then again, pools have to close and clean up their facilities at some point, right?
Pools typically close at 8 PM but open early in the morning, around 7-10 AM. Pool hours are usually shorter on weekends and holidays, with closing times near 5-6 PM. Swimming lessons, classes, and weather may interfere with open swim time. You should call your local pool for exact closing times.
At most pools, swimming early in the morning is a viable possibility. Swimmers are known for being early risers, and a morning swim is a great way to start the day off. On the other hand, most people do not swim at night for exercise. These trends are reflected in the opening and closing times for pools, as we will see below.
Standard Pool Schedule
Knowing the ins and outs of the average pool schedule can be pretty tricky if you’re not that familiar with it. The pool staff wants to keep the pool as busy as possible. Consequently, they schedule plenty of activities to ensure that swimmers have ample opportunity to get the most out of their pool membership. Some of the more prevalent pool activities include but are not limited to:
- swim team practice
- swimming lessons (for children or adults)
- water aerobics classes
- water polo practice
Each of these activities will interfere with and subsequently alter the open swim times for your pool, depending on the area in which you live. Throughout the year, these classes and hours can be subject to change.
Of course, nobody wants to drive to the pool, change into their swimsuit, and walk to the pool deck only to be turned around. For this reason, you should know that the only foolproof way to know what hours you can swim at your local pool is via a direct call. So if you’re unsure of your local pool’s hours, be sure to reach out by phone. If you do not want to call for whatever reason, this information should also be available on your local pool’s website.
To give you a better idea of typical swimming hours, here’s an example of what a regular pool schedule looks like:
|5:00 AM to 7:00 AM||Lap Swim|
|7:00 AM to 8:00 AM||Water Aerobics|
|8:00 AM to 11:00 AM||Swimming Lessons|
|11:00 AM to 1:00 PM||Open Swim|
|1:00 PM to 2:00 PM||Lap Swim|
|2:00 PM to 8:00 PM||Open Swim|
The sample swimming activities and times outlined above would be for an average weekday. But, again, this is only an example, so your local pool may be following a completely different schedule.
If you’re lucky, your pool might follow a schedule that’s more open to the public. Mind you, this public access doesn’t just have to be limited to open swim. Some pools organize water activities for the general public, such as a pool volleyball game or aqua dance class.
As a general rule of thumb, pools are open for fewer hours on Saturdays. Typically, pools do not open until 7 or 8 AM since not many people swim laps early on Saturday mornings. As aforementioned, pools have an earlier closing time on Saturdays as well. Again, 5 or 6 PM is the typical closing time.
Occasionally, your local pool might be closed for most of the day because of a swim meet. Often, community pools host swim meets for local high school teams. Swim competitions last for several hours at the minimum, so you may have to reschedule your workout on these days. Generally, swim meets are held toward the end of swim season, so make sure to plan ahead. Otherwise, you might end up at a crowded swimming pool with no available lap lanes in sight!
Why Do Pools Close Anyway?
While you may see no good reason for a pool to close at first glance, there are several underlying reasons for early pool closure. These reasons often have to do with achieving a healthy chemical balance for the pool and staffing requirements.
It is common knowledge that the simplest way to sanitize a pool is to use chlorine. Chlorine helps clean and disinfect the pool water, keeping it free of any bad bacteria that could be harmful to humans. However, few people are aware that after you put chlorine (and other disinfecting chemicals) into the water, no one is permitted to enter the pool for a while. As a matter of fact, if you add ten ppm of chlorine to a pool, it will take almost 25 and a half hours to disinfect the pool (source). Of course, this wait time fluctuates with the pool’s size and circulation rate.
This mandatory wait period is the most prominent reason why pools need to close earlier in the evening. Unless the pool delays its opening, there won’t be sufficient time for the chlorine concentrations to reach safe levels.
If you’ve ever witnessed pool staff members urgently adding chlorine to the pool water after a bathroom incident in the pool, the mandatory wait period is why they’re in such haste. Of course, they want to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, but they also want to get the pool back up and running as quickly as they can.
Furthermore, few pools have enough staff members to stay open 24/7. Pools do not want to overwork their employees, nor do they want to jeopardize swimmer safety. By staying open 24/7, pools would likely have to do both of these things. Plus, pool members rarely swim at night anyway, so it’s hard to justify remaining open for every single hour of the day. These breaks are good for business.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, pool hours are monitored for a reason. For your own safety and the safety of others, pools tend to close early and open early. By doing so, pools can cater to different audiences and host various events for swimmers.
It is best to call your local pool for their specific hours, but know it will probably close between 6 and 8 pm. Of course, there’s an assortment of factors that can change this, but if you know all of the particulars, you will have a good guess as to whether or not your pool is open!