There are different rules that should be followed when swimming in a public pool. These rules can be a little different depending upon how many other people are sharing your lane with you, and most of these can usually be negotatiated simply by asking the others in your lane whether they would mind doing something different. These rules will not necessarily be enforced by anybody, but they make it much easier for everybody to get their workouts in and to keep everybody moving and safe.

Any time that you are in a pool:

  • Do not urinate under any circumstances; just get out and use the rest room.
  • Stay in your lane.
  • Enter feet first at the shallow end, unless the lane is clear; never dive in the shallow end under any circumstances.
  • Be aware of others in your lane and in the lane next to you.
  • Swim in the correct lane for your speed based on those already swimming and on any signs that may denote speed. In general, faster lanes are to the left (when facing the pool from the shallow end) and slower lanes are to the right. Your pool may be marked differently.

If you are sharing a lane:

  • Stay on one side of the lane in both directions when there is only one other person in the lane, unless circle swimming.
  • Circle swim when there is more than one other person in the lane.
  • Hug the right side of the lane when circle swimming; there should be more open space to your left than your right (just like when driving).
  • Tap the person you are passing’s foot when you catch up to them to warn them that you are there.
  • Stay to the right when resting while circle swimming, so that people who are not resting can more easily change direction.