Lady in Pool at Wilderness Presidential Resort

No Shirt? No Jeans? No Problem!


First, welcome to my first blog post! My name is Ruby and I am the Sports and Aquatics Manager at Wilderness Presidential Resort. I’ve worked with WPR since I was a junior in high school in 2010. Fun fact: it was my first job! I started in the Recreation department before moving over to Aquatics. I also manage and train the guides at the Adventure Park, so it is safe to say my job is fun! In February 2017 I was awarded the Dr. Frank Pia Lifesaving Award for a deep water rescue I had performed and sustained a life for in August of 2016. Well, enough about me, and more about outside clothing in the pool—yippee!

How many times have you packed up the car with screaming kids and you can’t wait to let them burnout all their energy at the pool, only to be told you can’t get in the water because of your t-shirt? If this has happened to you at a pool then keep reading, it will be worth it…….I hope. Unfortunately I will come off as the villain in this story because I have been that lifeguard that tells you “you can’t get in with that” but hopefully I can change your mind in just a few short paragraphs.

The “no outside clothing” rule isn’t just a rule to annoy and make your life harder. In fact, its sole role is to make life easier! Clothing that is not swimwear can cause an imbalance in water chemical levels, create a cloudy pool, transport water/airborne pathogens, and even harm pool filtration equipment, YIKES!!How is that possible you ask? Excellent question. Absorbent material can break down in the water and the fibers can clog equipment. Clothing that has been dyed like t-shirts, jeans or other apparel can bleed into the water and make the chemical levels drop. Chlorine has a tough job to disinfect and sanitize bacteria and other various wastes in the pool, so adding in dyes from clothing and fibers from broken down shirts just make for a world of trouble.

Now I know what you’re thinking, how can my t-shirt disrupt so much and destroy pool equipment when I’m only swimming for a couple of hours? It’s true, if we only had ONE person a day get in the pool with a cotton t-shirt life wouldn’t be so hard. However, it’s the dozens of people every few hours trying to get in the pool with unauthorized clothing that make things a little difficult. Don’t worry, I’ve brought proof. Below are pictures of only 1 month of filtration on a pool. What you see are those broken down fibers of absorbent clothing and denim. It took a group of 4 people 3-hours to completely clean these filters. Yes, we can’t catch all offenders of this rule however we can do our best to try and minimize and hopefully eliminate this contamination.

I’ll leave you with some helpful info so you and your friends and family know what is considered “swimwear”. Nylon and lycra are the best options for swimming in and is what most swimwear is made out of. The following items might cause a lifeguard to tell you to change or remove before swimming/are not considered approved swimwear: denim, cotton, bike or other compression and sport bottoms, leotards, male/female undergarments, sporting apparel, t-shirts, polos, regular diapers, etc. If you or someone in your group are susceptible to sunburn or has had issues with skin cancer in the past— I understand and most definitely take that into consideration. Please wear an appropriate non-absorbent t-shirt to swim in (they even make some that have SPF in them!) and please apply sunscreen every day.

Thank you for reading and hopefully learning. Continue to follow me every Tuesday for more helpful tips, info and stories on how to make for a safe and fun life around water.