Frequently asked questions
Why is there an admission policy?
Recreation Excellence makes every effort to ensure the safety of all our guests. Admission policies are established as a part of the facility rules, including items such as minimum age and requirements for supervision of children.
What’s the difference between a membership, punch pass or drop-in?
Memberships are available in 1, 3, 6, or 12-month packages. Members have access to all facility amenities during posted hours of operation. Drop-in fitness classes are included in the membership package and are first come, first served. Members are provided with a Recreation Excellence ID card that is scanned upon entry for quick and seamless access. Memberships can be transferred to other Recreation Excellence facilities, which is a great feature during facility closures. Memberships cannot be transferred and used for another guest.
*Registered programs are not included in the membership package and additional registration fees apply.
Drop-ins are single, one-time use admission with no in/out privileges. Drop-ins have access to all facility amenities during posted hours of operation. Drop-in fitness classes are included and are first come, first served.
*Registered programs are not included.
Digital punch passes are available in 10 visit packages. Digital punch pass holders have access to all facility amenities during posted hours of operation. Drop-in fitness classes are included in the punch pass and are first come, first served. Punch pass holders are provided with a Recreation Excellence ID card that is scanned upon entry for quick and seamless access. Punch passes can be transferred to other Recreation Excellence facilities, which is a great feature during facility closures. Punch passes can be transferred and used for another guest .
*Registered programs are not included.
Why do you need to inspect my bag before entry?
All bags are visually inspected prior to gaining admission into the Henderson Outdoor Pool.
The visual inspections are required for each, and every bag brought into the facility, without bias, and they are handled with respect and consideration for your privacy. Keep in mind that bag checks may be conducted at any Recreation Excellence facility at any time.
A visual inspection creates a secure and welcoming environment, while providing an added layer of protection to you and all our guests to ensure that prohibited items are not brought into the facility.
As an example; a prohibited glass container can break and may cause injuries to you or other guests. Additionally, the pool liner may be compromised forcing the operations team to activate an extended emergency closure. Cleaning the glass from the pool may require the pool to be drained completely! The impact to our guests, the community, and the operations can be significant.
For a list of prohibited items, please read the Facility Rules. (Button) Button with link to programs/guidelines/
Why do we have to take off our outdoor shoes?
Provincial health guidelines prohibit outdoor footwear of any type on the pool deck, as dirt and bacteria can contaminate the changeroom floor and pool deck where guests walk with bare feet. These contaminants could then be carried into the pool water. Mud, dirt, rocks, and grit can also be harmful to equipment like the treadmills, steps, and mats.
We ask that all guests of the facility remove their outdoor shoes upon entering the facility, carry them to your locker in the change room, and carry them back when you are done.
Who can use the universal change room?
Anyone can use the universal change room as it is an inclusive space for guests with children, those requiring assistance, and people of all gender identities.
What do I do if I lose something?
Please come in person to the front counter and describe the item that you lost. Recreation Excellence customer service representatives will be happy to reunite you with your lost item. Items are kept for a maximum of 1 month for the exception of personal hygiene items that get discarded. All lost and found items must be claimed in person as staff are unable to confirm items over the phone.
Can I take pictures of my children in the pool?
In most cases we would be happy to permit picture taking, but we do need to be diligent to ensure that all guests are comfortable. It is important that the only visible subjects in your images are your family members, and certain situations pictures/videos may not be appropriate.
Please connect with the lifeguard on the pool deck prior to taking pictures or videos. Ensure that all recording devices are turned off and stored prior to accessing the change rooms.
Can I breastfeed my baby in the pool?
Why can’t my child wear a regular diaper in the pool?
Regular diapers are designed to absorb and hold liquid, lots of liquid. Did you know that a diaper can hold over 1 litre of pee & water. Regular diapers can swell and weigh more than 2.5 lbs and once the regular diaper is waterlogged, it no longer fits properly. Regular diapers used in a swimming pool may not contain the solid waste (fecal matter/poop). When fecal matter contaminates the swimming pool, the operations team is required to evacuate all the swimmers and implement a complete emergency closure. The closures and subsequent disinfection procedures are regulated by the Provincial Health Authority to ensure the safety of all swimmers and may close the pool for up to 72 hours or more.
Also, regular diapers commonly burst open, and the gel inside will contaminate the pool water, force an emergency closure, and clog the filters, making it difficult for the pool operations team to clean.
The preferred option is to use a 3-layer system starting with an approved swim diaper or swim pants. These are specially designed diapers intended to be used in the pool. These swim diapers (disposable or reusable) do not absorb the liquid, so that they can hold the solids. They won’t get soggy, bulky, or saggy, which makes it easier for your little to move around.
Layer 1: Swim Diaper or Swim Pant – be sure to select the correct size for your little.Layer 2: Rubber Pant – this additional layer is proven to be effective at containing the solids.Layer 3: Swimsuit or Onesie – not only are they cute, but they also serve a purpose in containing those nasty solids.
- Check the status of the swim diaper every 30 minutes.
- Change your littles diaper in the change room.
- Off the pool deck and away from the pool water).
- Dispose of the soiled diaper in the waste bin or store the reusable diaper in a sealable bag.
- Be sure to wash your hands before returning to the pool.
Keep in mind that even with the 3-layer system, your little one’s swim diaper may not contain liquid diarrhea, so if they are not feeling well, you should not take them swimming.
Using the 3-layer swim diaper system can help keep the pool water clean, prevent costly repairs to our filtration and mechanical systems, and reduce the frequency of emergency closures.
Where do I get a swim diaper for my infant?
For your convenience infant swim diapers are available for purchase at the registration desk, or you are welcome to purchase them from any local vendor. Some swim diapers are single use (must be disposed of) and others are reusable but must be washed between uses.
Do I need to get in the pool with my children?
For children under 8 years old, yes, you will need to be in your swimsuit in the water and within arms’ reach. Guardians must be 14 years or older to actively supervise a maximum of 3 children under 8 years of age.
Why am I not allowed to ride double with my child on the waterslide?
This safety guideline is a manufacturer’s user recommendation and is in place to keep you and your child safe. Two people riding a waterslide chute together can lead to injuries, as the extra force and speed makes it difficult to control your movements, react and adjust while you’re sliding to the bottom. Using the waterslide with two riders in the same chute, might lead to impact injuries or much worse… having one or both riders ejected from the slide.
What is a safety check?
A safety check is a procedure where the lifeguards thoroughly check the pool, the condition of the water, and visually inspect the pool bottom and all the play features. To conduct a thorough safety check, all guests need to be out of the water, so that the lifeguards can see the whole area.
Routine safety checks are scheduled for 3:30pm & 6:30pm every day at Henderson Outdoor Pool. Keep in mind that safety checks may be conducted at any Recreation Excellence facility at any time.
Our thorough safety checks take approximately 10 – 15 minutes, which is a good time to gather your family, use the washroom, hydrate, and reapply sunscreen.
The lifeguards will whistle when the pool is ready, and guests are invited to return to the water.
What time is public swimming?
Recreation Excellence offers many different types of “public swimming” aka “open swim” depending on the facility, the available amenity, and the day. Click here to see the scheduling page to find the type of swim that best suits your needs.
You can also download our RECEX APP and get all the information right on your mobile device! The advantage to our APP is that you can sign up to receive push notifications to receive timely updates.
Our Customer Service Representatives are happy to help, just give them a call or stop by the registration counter and they are happy to assist you to find the best time for your swim.
I forgot my towel and goggles; can I borrow one from the lost and found?
Unfortunately, we cannot lend out other people’s items. But lucky for you we have goggles, towels, and swim diapers available for purchase. Our friendly Customer Service Representatives can help you get set up.
Do you have flutter boards and other training equipment I can use?
Yes, we have a supply of flutter boards, pull buoys, hand paddles, flippers and PFDs that can be borrowed during your swim. Please return the equipment after you are finished using it.
Can I bring my Certified Service Dog into the facility?
Yes, both Certified Guide Dogs and Qualified Service Dogs that have been trained and tested have the right to access any location where the public is allowed. Please display your Service Dog ID Card to the Recreation Excellence Customer Service Representative to obtain entry. Please note: The guide or service dog is not permitted into the water but can remain poolside for the duration of the handler’s swim and like anyone acting inappropriately, a person may be refused access or asked to leave if they or their guide or service dog is disruptive.
What do you mean I’m not allowed to spit or blow my nose into the pool?
Hygiene matters to everyone. Spitting and blowing your nose is considered unsanitary and bodily fluids can spread germs and contribute to illnesses. To maintain a clean and respectful environment, find a private area to blow your nose discreetly. It’s best to use tissues and dispose of them properly in the waste bins or toilet.
Why does a pool close unexpectedly?
Recreation Excellence teams work extremely hard to prevent all closures. Certified pool operators and our facility maintenance team perform numerous preventative maintenance tasks to keep the facility operating smoothly. Sometimes elements outside their control force amenities to close and this is just as frustrating for our teams as it is you. Rest assured, we would much rather see you and your family having fun, and we are sincerely sorry anytime your expectations are not met.
*HOT TIP* GET THE RECEX APP. A key feature of the app is the amenity closure notification. Once you have downloaded the app, click the notification tab, and subscribe to receive notifications on your favourite amenities.
Emergency closures can be caused by:
- A medical emergency, where a person requires medical attention, and key staff are taken away from their regular duties to assist. Recreation Excellence teams will need time to complete forms, debrief, and may need to bring in a new team before the facility or amenity can be safely reopened.
- A mechanical failure, where a piece of equipment is no longer working as it should. Recreation Excellence teams will investigate various solutions including permanent part replacements to safe short-term solutions. Closures may be required to isolate, remove, repair, or replace the failed equipment.
- Public Health orders may require facility closures, restricted capacity or other specific requirements. These orders may be sudden with little notice and the Recreation Excellence teams will ensure they are informed of the latest updates and requirements and will always comply with provincial directives as your health and safety is paramount to us.
- Pool contaminations are THE WORST! The pool water is carefully filtered, sanitized, heated, and balanced by certified pool operators. They do everything they can to make sure the pool water is perfectly safe for each swim. Unfortunately, contaminants can be brought into the pool by swimmers. Contaminants such as oil, soil, bacteria, vomit, or feces, can be harmful and specific protocols must be followed by our operators to ensure the water is cleaned and sanitized properly.
Why does the pool have to close for so long after a pool contamination?
We hear you… we do not like pool foulings either! Our pool operators must clean and sanitize the pool water along with the equipment and any pool amenities that encountered the contamination. This may require vacuuming the pool, scrubbing surfaces, and adjusting the chemicals in the pool water and cleaning the filters. We need to make sure that we allow the chemicals the right amount of time to effectively clean and sanitize all the water (up to 1.5 million liters! Wow, that is a lot).
How can pool contaminations be prevented?
- Use the bathroom before your swim and take frequent bathroom breaks during the swim. Don’t ask, just take everyone on regular breaks.
- Incontinent individuals, children under 3 and those not toilet trained must wear an approved swim diaper and plastic pool pants under their bathing suit.
- Check swim diapers every 30 – 60 minutes.
- Plan to eat after your swim. Not eating before or during your swim reduces the chances of vomit contamination.
- Stay at home if you are sick or have diarrhea. Wait 2 weeks after symptoms subside before returning to the pool.
- Please do not go swimming if you are feeling unwell, especially if you have an upset stomach.
- Do not bring your child to swimming lessons if they are feeling unwell, have diarrhea, are vomiting (or have vomited in the past day), or have a cough.
- Shower with soap and water for 90 seconds before swimming.
- wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after using the toilet or changing diapers.
- Children under 3, or those not-toilet trained or incontinent must wear leak-proof swim diapers, with a plastic pant.
- Take children for frequent bathroom breaks, ensure your child uses the bathroom prior to entering the pool and if your child needs to use the bathroom during swimming, take him/her to the washroom immediately!
- Change diapers in the change rooms and not at the poolside.
- Dispose of diapers properly and clean up the diaper changing area.
- Excess oils from lotion, sweat, cosmetics and dirt use up the pool’s chemical power, leaving less power to kill germs. Taking a cleansing shower with soap before you swim makes a significant difference!
Do you use chlorine or salt in your pool?
The short answer is that our pools are sanitized with a sophisticated chlorination system. Recreation Excellence uses chlorine puck or gas systems in our facilities, and they have continuous 24 hour/day monitoring system complimented by a minimum of 4 manual water tests and further visual inspections daily. We also send weekly environmental microbiology (pool water) samples to the Public Health Laboratory for further testing.
Can the hours of operation change?
Recreation Excellence works to maximize facility use, while remaining fiscally responsible to the City of Lethbridge and the community. The hours of operation are reviewed regularly, along with research on past, and current facility demand and usage trends. Forecasts on usage and budget are generated and operational hours are selected in collaboration with the City of Lethbridge.
Why are the pools shut down for annual maintenance?
Regular planned maintenance is the best way to minimize the chances of emergency mechanical closures and helps keep the facilities in the best possible operating conditions. During these shutdowns the facility operators will service, repair and replace equipment that is either damaged or at the end of its service life (pumps, filters, injectors, etc.).
These regularly scheduled shutdowns are planned well in advance, during slower seasons and all programs, user groups and members are kept well informed. Being able to schedule all the work at one time reduces the impact on our community, as we try to ensure that guests can use at least one of the other two facilities.
How do I become a lifeguard?
Check out our Learn to be a lifeguard steps here or call us for more information.
How do I become a swim instructor?
New Lifesaving swimming instructor courses coming soon, check back or call us for more information