SAN ANTONIO — After being open for only a few weeks last year amid some of the pandemic's most devastating months, San Antonio's pool season began Saturday for families to relax and splash around as life slowly returns to normal.
Four city pools – Heritage, Lady Bird Johnson, Southside Lions and Woodlawn – will be operating Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., as well as on Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Meanwhile, Kennedy and San Pedro will only be operating during those weekend hours for now.
Splash pads are also open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Pearsall Park, Lincoln Park, Benavides Park, Hemisfair, and Elmendorf Lake Park.
"We want to invite the public back to some sort of normalcy," said Veronica Rodriguez, program manager for aquatics.
Rodriguez said you're welcome to get back in the water, as long as you follow the new rules.
"The only time you will not be wearing your mask is when you're in the pool," Rodriguez said. "Otherwise, if you're going to the restroom or going to grab a drink of water, masks will be required."
With the coronavirus still a threat in the community and plenty of residents still waiting to be vaccinated, families are being asked to register online beforehand, at no charge, to visit during a specific window of time. According to those registration pages, the open swim visits are being limited to two hours or 75 minutes depending on the day, and visitors who arrive late may "forfeit" their predetermined swim session.
"We will be operating our pools at 50 percent capacity," Rodriguez said.
A nationwide shortage of chlorine is making the product more expensive and harder to find. Rodriguez said that problem won't affect your fun in the sun.
"From our understanding, the shortage is on the tablet form of chlorine," Rodriguez said. "Our parks pools, we use liquid chlorine. Our vendor has reassured us that it's not going to impact them to meet our needs."
Visitors will be screened for COVID-19 upon arrival. Access to dressing rooms won't be available, so Parks and Recreation is also asking you come swim-ready.
"Everything we do, is just to keep everyone safe," Rodriguez said.
The city has a total of 24 pools. Rodriguez said they we'll open more throughout the summer as they hire more staff.
Registration is open now. More information can be found here.