APS AQUATICS – Back in the Swim Program

Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Information (Updated Sept 12)


  • How do I make a reservation for an adult or senior lap swim, water jogging, or water exercise session? You will need to set up an account on our self-service portal and then you can book your session.  Please click here to get started:  APS Aquatics Self-Service Portal
  • How to I set up my account on the APS Aquatics Portal? Please click here for instructions:  Accessing the Portal the First time
  • How far in advance may I make a reservation? Reservations open 25 hours in advance of the end time of a session (Example:  On Monday at 2:00 pm you may reserve for a session that ends at 3:00 pm on Tuesday).  Reservations stay up to 15-minutes before the scheduled swim time.
  • If my schedule changes, how can I cancel my reservation?  How can I cancel my reservation?  You can change your reservation up to 60-minutes before your scheduled time. Log in to your self-service account and go to “my schedule”. You will see the session you are booked into.  Click the reservation time/day you want to cancel, and it will say cancel session. If you see “call for details” you have missed the cancellation window (60 minutes in advance of the swim time, and you will not be able to cancel).
  • Do I get a refund or credit if I cancel my reservation?  The portal will allow you to reschedule that session within 15-day of the purchase of the corresponding package.  After 15-days the package is void, and not eligible for a refund.  NO SHOWS will not be issued a credit.
  • Can I register my child (under 18 years old) for a swimming session? Children may register to LAP SWIM sessions if they can swim 25-yards without stopping.  Each person reserving a lap swim session must have an individual account.  Family Swim Pods are also available on weekends and some weeknights.  Please check the reservation portal for availability.
  • How can I register my children or family for a family swim session? Family Swim session (Family Pods) are now available.  Please visit our Family Swim Pods page for more information.
  • If I bring my child to swim laps, but I do not wish to swim myself, may I stay with them?   Minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who can respond to the health screening questions on behalf of the child.  Due to space limitations on deck, you may be asked to wait in the spectator area or the front lobby.
  • Once I set up my Family Pod, may I book a family swim anytime the pool is open?  Sorry, no.  Family groups must book swim time during designated SWIM POD times. We have family pops for non-swimmers (instructional pools) and swimmers (Competition or deep pool).  You may also schedule a diving time at Yorktown pool, during family pod times if your child wishes to use the diving boards.


  • I have an annual membership. Do I still have to pay the drop-in swim fee to reserve a swim time?  Memberships were frozen on March 14 and will remain frozen until the pools resume normal operation (no reservations required).  Members may choose to re-activate their membership and use it to schedule a swim session.  Please submit a request by email to helena.machado@apsva.us.  Requests are processed in 1-3 business days, and a confirmation e-mail will be sent to you Your membership expiration date will be adjusted by the number of days that you are unable to use it.
  • I had visits left on my swim pass at the time the pools closed. Can I use these visits?  Please send an email to   helena.machado@apsva.us.  Your swim pass will be canceled available visits will be converted to a self-service package.  Once your pre-paid visits are used, you may select to purchase one of our term memberships: 1, 3, or 12 months.
  • Can I buy more than one swim session at a time? Currently, the swim sessions (packages) are single visits only and expire within 15-days from the date of purchase.  You may want to consider purchasing a 30-day membership.  This option allows you to book 30 daily swims during the term.
  • Can I get a refund if I don’t attend my swim session? All swim session sales are final.  To receive a credit you must cancel your reservation on the portal.  Staff at the pool or office cannot process a cancellation on your behalf.
  • How does one apply for a reduced fee based on income? As always, Arlington residents may apply for a fee reduction.  Please visit our website to access the Application Form.  Submit the completed form and supporting documents as indicated, and your request will be processed within 5-business days.
  • How can I make a reservation if I do not have internet access? Using the self-service portal is the most convenient way to get your reservation, and it can be accessed on a smartphone or tablet.  If you have neither, please call 703-228-6263 or 6264 and we will assist you to get set up so you can request your reservation by phone or email.  Please know that our phones do get busy, but if you leave a message we will try to get back to you on the same day.  Office hours are Monday-Friday from 8 am – 4:00 pm.


  • What is the APS Aquatics Re-opening Plan?  Where can I find details of how APS will implement the Virginia and CDC Guidelines?  You will find our entire plan in the APS Aquatics Reopening Guide 
  • How do I enter the pool? Please come to the front doors.  Follow the footprints and directional arrows on the floor to proceed to the check-in desk.  The footprints are set to help you maintain the 10-foot physical distancing required.  Please wait for the staff to initiate the check-in.
  • Must I wear a face covering or mask while entering the building?   Face covering is always required except while showering or swimming.  Be sure to wear your mask when walking from the shower to the deck, from the pool back to the changing room, or from the pool to the exit. Face-coverings must be worn over the mouth and nose.  Towels and other cloth that must be held in place are not acceptable.
  • What is required for the health screening? Staff will ask each person checking-in several questions, as required by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and take your temperature using an infrared no-contact thermometer. The temperature must be below 100.4   Click the link that follows to view the Health Screening Questionnaire
  • What happens if I answer “yes” to any of the questions on the health screening? If you answer “yes” to any of the health screening questions, you will not be permitted to enter the pool.
  • What happens if my temperature is above 100.4 F when I arrive at the pool? Staff will ask you to step aside and allow three minutes to cool down before rechecking your temperature.  If the temperature is still above 100.4 F you will not be permitted to enter the pool.
  • Is there hand sanitizer solution available at the pool? A hand sanitizer station is set up at the entrance and exit of each pool.
  • Physical distancing everywhere else is 6-feet. Why is APS Aquatics requiring a 10-foot physical distancing?  Virginia Department of Health (VDH) guidelines require 10-foot distancing in indoor swimming pools and fitness centers.  This is due to the effect of physical activity on the rate of respiration and force of exhalation, which can cause the exhaled droplets to travel further.
  • How far in advance of my swim time should I arrive at the pool?  Check-in for a specific session will begin no earlier than 15 minutes before the scheduled session time and may start later.  The MOD will manage the check-in time to ensure adequate spacing in the locker rooms while allowing time for swimmers to change and enter the water on time.  Currently, we recommend you arrive at the pool about 10 minutes before the start of your scheduled session. You may be asked to line up (10-feet apart) and wait a few minutes as determined by the MOD to manage the flow of traffic through the locker rooms and on the deck.  Your patience is appreciated.
  • If I am early and there is space available, will I be able to get checked in and get started with my swim? Sorry, no.  The sessions are scheduled to allow managing traffic flow and capacity, as well as cleaning of the locker rooms and other spaces.  Also, we are required to maintain a list of all swimmers’ entry and exit time.  Please plan to arrive no more than 15-minutes before your scheduled swim time.  Staff will manage the check in to allow you to swim the full length of your reservation.
  • How late can I arrive for my scheduled session?  Sessions close at the scheduled start time.  Please allow time to get to the pool and line up for check-in on time.


  • I booked a reservation for Water Exercise, what area of the pool will I be allowed to use? Water exercise participants will be assigned to the instructional pools. During Senior Swim (60 and over) you may also be assigned space in the shallow end of the competition pools.
  • I booked a reservation for Water Jogging, what area of the pool will I be allowed to use? Water Joggers will be assigned to the diving well area.
  • How many swimmers are assigned to each lane? There will be no more than 2-swimmers per lane during public swim.  Swim teams will be permitted 3-swimmers per lane as per VDH guidelines.
  • What is the rationale for allowing two-swimmer per lane?  APS reviewed VDH guidelines for the number of swimmers, physical distancing, and capacity and we determined that two swimmers per lane would best suit our facilities due to small locker rooms and check-in space.  
  • I have heard that some pools are only allowing one swimmer per lane.  Is it safe to have two swimmers in the same lane?  Virginia Department of Health Phase 2 Guidelines for outdoor pools (indoor pools were not cleared to open)  allowed only one swimmer per lane.  Phase 3 Guidelines permit the opening of indoor facilities and allow up to 3-swimmer per lane.  The potential risk of transmission between two swimmers passing in the lane was determined to be very low.
  • Why are swimmers being assigned BLUE and RED (or GREEN and BLUE) lanes?  Assigning a color to the different groups help to ensure physical distancing (10-Feet) between swimmer when coming in or exiting the pool. It also assists the lifeguard in determining what group needs to exit.
  • My spouse and I enjoy swimming together. May we share a lane?  Swimmers in each session are assigned alternating lanes to help manage the 10-foot distancing when entering and exiting the pool.  If you wish to share a lane (2 swimmers only), please plan to check-in together and let the deck staff know.  Depending on how busy the session before and after yours is, we may be able to accommodate your request.  Please know this is not guaranteed.
  • Why do I have to take a shower before swimming? This is an Arlington Health Department regulation that staff will strictly enforce.
  • Are the locker rooms available? You may use the locker room to change into your swimsuit and to shower before swimming.  Lockers are not available.
  • Will I be able to store my personal belongings in a locker? Lockers are not available. Please plan to place your belongings on deck and place your bag in one of the designated spots on the bleachers and other space around the deck.
  • Will swimmers be expected to circle swim?  Because we are only booking two swimmers per lane during public swim, you will not have to circle swim and should instead stay to one side of the lane (right side from where you have entered).
  • How will I know that my 45-minutes swim time is over? The lifeguard will blow the whistle and call out the color that must exit as needed.  Please swim to the end of the pool that you entered the lane from before exiting.
  • If I don’t wish to swim the entire 45 minutes of my session, may I exit earlier? Yes.  We do ask that you always exit the pool on the same side where you got in.  Again, this helps us to manage the 10-foot distancing.
  • I am not able to exit the pool without the assistance of a ladder, steps, or the lift. May I swim across the lanes to reach one of these aids?    Yes.  Please be mindful of the swimmers in the lanes that you must cross, and maintain the required physical distance as you pass any swimmer that may be resting at the end of the lanes
  • I prefer to swim for longer than 45 minutes. How can I reserve a longer session?  We offer 45 and 60 minutes sessions at this time.  If you wish to swim longer than 45 minutes, please select one of the 60-min sessions.
  • Will I be able to change out of my swimsuit before leaving? If you wish to shower and change you may enter one of the four individual changing rooms.  To exit, please return to the pool deck and exit through the emergency exit doors
  • How do I exit the pool? Please exit the pool using the emergency exits located on deck. This will help with managing traffic flow and physical distancing.

 ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:  We welcome your questions and feedback.  Please email helena.machado@apsva.us or call 703-228-6263 or 703-228-6264