D.C. Poolside Water Bottle Ban Lifted

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    NEWSLETTERS

    An unpopular ban on water bottles at D.C.'s popular Wilson Pool ended almost as soon as it started, News4's Tom Sherwood reports. (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013)

    An unpopular ban on water bottles at D.C.'s popular Wilson Pool ended almost as soon as it started. After the D.C. Health Department banned water bottles at city swimming pools for health reasons, swimmers complained, and the ban quickly was lifted after News4 started asking questions.

    The 50-meter, indoor Wilson Pool in northwest Washington attracts a strong following of swimmers of all skill levels, and everyone was surprised Sunday by a health inspector's sudden ban on poolside water bottles.

    Swimmers started an online petition to overturn the ban. Complaints flooded the website for the D.C. Triathlon Club, denouncing what many called an unhealthy decision hurting swimmers.

    The D.C. Health Department at first said its regulations banned any food or drink, including water.

    “It's a balance of how do we maintain safety, security, cleanliness and all that,” D.C. Parks and Recreation Director Jesus Aguirre said.

    But the ban appears to go too far, Aguirre told News4, and it will be lifted at least until further review.

    “We've decided to go ahead and allow plastic water bottles on the deck,” he said.

    Swimmers at the pool were glad about water bottles being allowed but agreed that the pool deck can get cluttered with too much stuff.