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Frequently Asked Questions
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Who needs to have a pool pass?
Anyone, ages 2 and over, that enters the pool complex during general swim hours must either have a season pass or a daily admission tag. The fees that are charged for Rosemary Pool are for use of the entire complex, and not just for those who swim at the pool.
If I’m not sure how often I’ll visit Rosemary Pool, what type of pass should I get?
There are several options for you to consider.
When you pay the daily admission rate, you will be given a receipt. Hold onto that receipt. If you find that you are going more often than you thought you would, you can collect your receipts and turn them in towards the purchase of a season pass. The receipt(s) does not have to be for just you as an individual. As an example, if your family went together one day and paid the daily admission rate, but only one individual will go on a regular basis, the receipt for the full family can be put towards the purchase of an individual season pass.
It is less expensive for a family to purchase a “guest pass booklet” which provides 10 one-time use passes. The receipt from the guest pass booklet can also be turned in as partial payment for a season pass.
Why isn't the rate for children lower than adults?
Children receive most of the attention of the staff and most of the services offered at the pool.
Do I need to purchase a pool pass for my children to take swimming lessons?
No. The Commission has set two fees for swim lessons – the lower fee ($30) is for those who have a season pass, and the higher fee ($60) is for those who do not have a season pass. If you have one child who will take one session of swim lessons and will not use the pool at any other times, it is less expensive to pay $60 than to purchase an individual pass for $90 and add the $30 for lessons. The staff at the Park and Recreation Office can help you choose the least expensive option for your family.
I will have guests visiting me for a week this summer. Can they come to the pool?
Absolutely! Each guest is expected to follow the rules of the pool, including having youth pass the deep-water test in order to swim in the deep sections. If you are a Needham resident, you can purchase a booklet of 10 one-time use guest passes for the pool for $50, and share those passes with your guests. If you are a non-resident, the guest pass booklet is available for $70.
Why are children required to take the Deep Water test each year?
Over the winter, many children do not have the opportunity to swim, and therefore, their skills do not progress, and many cases will regress. The test allows them to make sure they have the strength to swim for extended periods of time in deep water, without being able to touch the bottom of the pool floor, or to hang onto an object.
Why are there hourly rest periods?
Rest periods are for both children and staff. Many children are not aware of how tired they become will playing and swimming in the water. The rest period gives each of them the chance to come out of the water, rest and build up oxygen levels, and prepare to go back into the water. For the staff, they have the opportunity to clear their heads and allow their eyes to rest and refocus, get out of the sun for a short period of time, and get fluids into their systems. When they return, they will each sit at a different guarding station, allowing them to be more alert, than if they had stayed in one section for several hours.
What are the benefits of having a season pass?
Economic: If you feel you will use the pool on a regular basis, it is most economical to purchase an Early Bird Season Pass. A season pass for a Needham resident individual is $100, and the daily admission rate is $6, so if you plan on using the pool more than 15 times, it is less expensive to have the pass. A season family pass is $205, and if an average sized family of four went to the pool more than 8 times in the season, it would be less expensive to purchase the season family pass.
Time Saving: Patrons with pool passes are able to move quickly through the check-in gate, rather than having to stop and fill in information.
What type of pass should I get if my husband won’t go to the pool often, and our child is one year old?
Your child does not need to have a pass under the age of 2, and if your husband doesn’t go often, it would probably be best to purchase an individual pass for yourself, and have your husband pay the daily admission rate, or purchase a guest pass booklet for his use, or other guests. With the receipt(s) from daily admission or a guest pass booklet, your husband can purchase a season pass later, if he finds he’s going more often than he thought.
Can I share my season passes with friends and family?
Names are written on each pass, and are to only be used by that individual. The staff actually gets to know most regular patrons, and recognize when a non-family individual tries to come through, but there is certainly an honor system to the passes. The result of many people sharing passes would be a large increase to the cost of passes and daily admission rates, in order to cover the operational costs of the pool, which would be unfortunate for all.
What is the Early Bird Special?
The Commission sets a lower rate for the initial sales of season pool passes for Needham residents. It is a “thank you” for their support of the pool and department, and is made available from April 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day. The regular season rate comes into effect after that date. The office staff is also able to serve you faster and more efficiently, when passes are purchased earlier. The closer the day of purchase is to the opening of the pool or the summer programs, the busier the office is!
Can I wear a t-shirt in the water?
In most instances, t-shirts are not allowed, along with other additional clothing. Swimsuits are designed to hold very little water, making your body weight as light as possible. Other types of clothing can hold on to more water, and create tangling situations, all which can interfere with safe swimming. The Pool Supervisor on duty can make an exception to this rule for swimmers who need to minimize their exposure to the sun. The Supervisor will alert the guards to the exception, so that extra visual attention can be put towards that swimmer. This is a situation in which a difficult decision must be made between the swimmer (or guardian) and the staff – the prevention of drowning vs. the prevention of skin cancer.
Can my child wear “floaties” or wear a suit with flotation devices?
For the safety of the child, flotation devices are not permitted at Rosemary Pool. The pool is built in such a way that young children are able to touch the ground in the shallow sections, and learn to creatively use their bodies to move in the water. Flotation devices give children a false sense of security in their abilities. Parents can also become too confident in the safety of the flotation device. There are some children with disabilities that need flotation devices to assist their bodies in the water. In those instances, the parent/guardian may speak to the Supervisor on duty to receive permission for use of the flotation devices.
Why isn’t there public swimming in the lake?
Rosemary Lake is a man-made lake. During the 1960’s the visibility in the water declined, and in 1969 the lake was closed to public swimming as it no longer met state standards for visibility. The Rosemary Reclamation Committee created a long-term plan for cleaning the lake and restoring it for swimming. In the interim, they recommended building a temporary area within the lake that could be chlorinated and used as a pool during the period it would take to complete the plan. Rosemary Pool opened in 1972, and it was intended to be used for about ten years, though it was built to last longer than ten years.
Over time, the cost of cleaning the lake prevented the full project from being implemented, and Rosemary Pool has been maintained since that time. The cost of cleaning the lake has been reviewed several times through the past thirty years, but it remains high and state regulations for lake and pond swimming have become much more stringent over the years, making it difficult to return the lake to a swim facility.
Why are the lake and pool drained each spring?
The levels of water in the lake and in the pool must remain within 6-10 inches of each other to prevent the walls of the pool from collapsing due to the pressure. Each spring, the water is drained so that the interior of the pool can be cleaned and painted in preparation for the new pool season. The water leaves the lake, traveling through the opened dam and under Rosemary Street, and through a series of brooks and streams that eventually empty into the Charles River. When the dam is closed, water returns to the lake from a series of brooks and streams that come from the Chestnut Street area of Needham. The levels of the lake and pool are determined by the amount of water that nature provides. Attempting to fill the pool with town water would only serve to fill the lake and streams.
Is the pool water clean?
In order to operate a public pool, Park and Recreation must meet the state health code for swimming pools. The water in the pool is drawn from the lake, and pulled through a series of pipes to the filter. It returns to the pool as chlorinated water. Prior to giving Park and Recreation a permit to open the pool, the Board of Health requires that the pool water undergo analysis for bacteria. Each year, the pool water meets or exceeds the state requirements. At least four times a day, the pool water is tested in various sections to make sure that state requirements are met on water quality. Chlorine is used to sanitize the pool water.
Does the sand in the pool change the cleanliness of the water?
No, the staff easily cleans out the sand off the bottom of the pool. After a heavy rain, there is a greater amount of lake water in the pool, which draws in silt from the lake bottom. The filter must deal with this new influx of water, and the silt must settle to the bottom and be vacuumed away. The silt changes the clarity of the water, and the pool must remain closed until clarity returns and the appropriate level of chlorine is available in all pool sections.
How are fecal accidents handled at the pool?
Chlorine is an extremely effective sanitizer. When a solid stool is found in the water, that section of the pool is closed, the stool is removed, and the section is given extra chlorine. The most dangerous types of bacteria, including E-Coli, are found in loose stool or diarrhea. The entire pool must be shut down, for at least 8 hours, in order to allow the chlorine to work on all water surfaces. The best way to handle a fecal accident is to prevent them from happening. Young children should be in swim diapers, and should never be changed in or near the water. Anyone not feeling well should avoid being in the water. Washing hands with soap and water, and cleansing showers are strongly recommended.
Why does state law require all bathers to take a shower before entering the pool?
A cool shower will help you close up your pores, making it difficult for bacteria to penetrate. A cleansing shower, with soap, will remove bacteria from your skin, decreasing the amount of work needed by the chlorine. It is also highly recommended that a hot, soapy shower be taken after swimming, without your swim suit, to make sure that all potential areas of bacteria are cleansed away.
Can I swim if I’m wearing a band-aid?
State Law does not allow anyone with a communicable disease, sores, or evidence of skin disease to use the pool. Since band-aids rarely stay attached to the skin surface in the pool, it is best not to swim when a band-aid is necessary. An open wound is an “open door” to bacteria.
Town of Needham
1471 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492