Washington DC Bans Water Bottles at Public Pools

May 14, 2013

Recently, SwimSpray's Chief Operating Officer, Peter Wong has taken the lead to “Reverse the Ban on Water Bottles at Public Swimming Pools in DC.”

Team SwimSpray trains at the Wilson Aquatic Center in Washington, DC.  Recently, the city banned water bottles anywhere on the pool deck because the health inspector classified them as “food.”
DC Bans Water Bottles at Pools
Peter filed a petition asking the city to reverse the ban on water bottles, allowing swimmers to hydrate during their workouts, as they did before the ban.  The petition is posted on, which allows supporters to join the petition on-line.


The leading online swimming publication, SwimSwam News has reported on this issue.

He explains why he was motivated to act, “I really hope that we can resolve this now before the idea spreads to other pools.  Because, if that happens, I fear what it will take to change the policy.”

To help reverse the ban, you can sign the petition online on  Click here.

Update 1: As of ~7 pm on May 14, DPR states that non-glass, non-breakable water bottles will be allowed in the pool area. That said, DC Department of Health (DOH) is going to review the regulation, and DPR will have to comply with DOH's final findings/rulings.


Update 2: On May 15, DPR released the following statement regarding the "temporary" reversal of the water bottle ban:

Current District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) regulations cite that "…no food, drink, glass or animals [are allowed] in the pool area," (25-C DCMR § 6403). DOH is the agency responsible for licensing and inspecting all pools within the inventory of the DPR. The current regulations are designed to keep pools safe and free from any harmful substances that may contaminate pool water, as well as to eliminate clutter and other potential hazards from the pool deck. DOH and DPR are currently reviewing these regulations in light of the recent questions regarding the use of water bottles by pool patrons. Both DOH and DPR understand the importance of pool patrons maintaining maximum hydration and encourage patrons to continue to enjoy the District's pools. DPR and DOH will temporarily allow the use of non-glass, non-breakable, water bottles in the pool area at District aquatic facilities, pending a review of the regulations by both agencies.

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