FAQ COVID-19

The El Cerrito Swim Center has put together a COVID-19 Policies Manual for customers and staff. We also put together some FAQs below. If you have more questions that either the manual or FAQs do not answer, please email recreation@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us.

The Swim Center is now open for reservations only.

What are the fees to swim?
Fitness Swim: $10 Res / $12 NRes
Masters Lane Reservation: $15 Res / $16 NRes

I want to come swim. How do I do that?
The Swim Center is only open right now for Lap Swim, Water Walking, Independent Exercise (all considered Fitness Swim), and Masters Swim Team. To swim, you will have to reserve a lane by logging into WebTrac, our online reservation system. Online reservations can be made here. The online lane reservation system can be complicated! Please review our Online Registration Instruction page before making reservations. 

Gators Swim Club is also practicing, and you can register for Gators at www.el-cerrito.org/onlinereg and clicking on "Aquatics Programs." You must already be a Gators swimmer to join, as there will be no try-out currently.

I don’t know my schedule far enough in advance to reserve a lane. Can I drop-in for lap swim instead?
You can reserve a lane as late as 11:59pm the day before, but we cannot allow drop-ins at this time. The Swim Center is doing its best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, therefore we will not be doing any in person transactions right now. Also, because of the tough financial times the City is facing, the Swim Center will not be able to operate if we do not get a minimum number of swimmers per lane (at least 7 swimmers per time slot). By reserving lanes ahead of time instead of doing drop-ins, we will know in advance if we need to cancel a time slot.

I reserved a lane, but now cannot make that time. Can I get a refund?
Lanes can now be cancelled online (no in-person or over phone cancellations) up to 7pm the day before your reservation! You can reserve lanes up until 11:59pm the day before. A 50% processing fee will be applied, the remaining 50% will be applied as a credit to your household. The Online Instructions page has been updated with instructions on how to cancel a lane reservation.

If you cannot make it after the 7pm time frame, please email recreation@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us to let us know. While we cannot give a refund, we might be able to have someone else swim in the lane. NO-SHOWS of reserved swim lanes may have their account limited, up to and including not being able to reserve lanes again.

I was asked to prove I'm an El Cerrito Resident. How do I do that?
Proof of household address may be requested at any time to verify residency. This may be in the form of a utility bill or rental lease.

It’s not letting me reserve lanes. What do I do?
There may be several reasons for this. First, lanes have been booking very quickly and there are not a lot of spots available. Second, you may be looking too far out in advance. We are only allowing reservation for specific time frames, which you can find on our main page at www.el-cerrito.org/swimcenter.

Lastly, you may not have your birthdate in the system. You must be 14 years or older to reserve a lane and if your birthdate is not in the system, it thinks you are 0 years old. Unfortunately, this is not something you can change in the system yourself. If you do not have a birthdate in the system, please email recreation@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us with your birthdate and we will enter it in the system.

I can’t remember what day/time I reserved. How do I find that?
When you log into our online system, click on "My Account" at the top right of the screen. Under "History and Balances" click "My History" and all of your purchases will show on the next screen. Depending on how many purchases you’ve made with the Recreation Department, you may have to scroll down as the newest purchases show up last on the page.

I want to swim for at least an hour or more, but only see 45-minute time slots. How can I swim longer?
Because of the County Order, outdoor pools are only allowed one person per lane in the pool. To maximize the amount of people who can swim plus the time needed to disinfect after each usage, the Swim Center is utilizing 45-minute time slots per swimmer.

Can I reserve two time slots back-to-back in order to swim longer?
Due to the high volume of swimmers that wish to use the pool, we are requesting everyone only reserve one time slot per day. This way, we can get as many people in the pool swimming as possible.

How many days per week or times per day can I sign up to swim?
The Swim Center is not regulating how many time slots per day or week you can reserve. However, if people are reserving spots and not using them or reserving so many spots that other customers are being turned away, this could change.

My family and I want to swim. Can we reserve a lane?
We are now have Family Lanes! Please visit our Family Lane page for information on how to reserve a lane for families.

I want to reserve a certain lane (for example, I water walk and need the shallow lane). How do I do that?
The online reservation system in WebTrac allows you to reserve the lane you want. The lanes are numbered 1-10, with 1 being the shallow lane and 10 being the deep lane. Each lane has a description in WebTrac. Please see the picture below for the numbered lanes. Lane Numbers Opens in new window

  • Lane 1 Stairs is the shallow lane with the stairs, which starts at a depth of 3’ and goes to 4’6”. This lane is less than half the length of a normal 25-yard lane, with a 6-foot section in the middle of the lane to keep physical distance from the other half of the lane. This lane is good for independent exercise and water walking.
  • Lane 1 Ladder is the shallow lane with the ladder, which is depth of 4’6”. This lane is less than half the length of a normal 25-yard lane, with a 6-foot section in the middle of the lane to keep physical distance from the other half of the lane. This lane is good for independent exercise and water walking.
  • Lane 2 is a shallower lane, with a depth of 4’6” the length of the lane and going deeper as it gets closer to Lane 3. This lane is good for water walking, lap swimming and independent exercise.
  • Lanes 3-10 are combined in the current reservation system:
    • Lane 3, 4 & 5 are deep lanes with a depth of 7’. These lanes are good for lap swimming and deep-water independent exercise.
    • Lane 6, 7, 8 & 9 are deep lanes that start with a depth of 7’ at one side of the pool and end with 13’ at the other side. These lanes are good for lap swimming and deep-water independent exercise.
    • Lane 10 is a deep lane that start with a depth of 7’ at one side of the pool and end with 13’ at the other side. There are ladders on either end of the lane. This lane is good for lap swimming and deep-water independent exercise.

Why can we not split the lanes and swim two per lane to get more people swimming?
The County Order allows for one person for every 75 square feet. While we can get more people in the pool than one per lane, they still must physically distance. Therefore, we can only allow one swimmer per lane.

The time slot I reserved was just cancelled due to low reservations. What happens now?
We are very sorry this happened, it means that not enough swimmers reserved a lane during that time slot. You can do a few things:

  • Reserve a lane in another time slot. You can reserve another day, or staff can help you reserve a lane for that same day, even if the 24 hours advanced reservation period has ended.
  • Receive a credit for your lane reservation to use later for any Recreation program.
  • Receive a refund for your lane reservation.

I had a Pass (10-punch, 30-day or 90-day) from before the Swim Center was shut down due to COVID-19. Can I use that?
Part of helping to recover costs with less customers swimming at the same time is putting passes on hold until normal operations resume. We will make sure all passes are able to be used and their expiration extended once we are able to resume normal operations.

I would like to donate to help keep the Swim Center open. How can I do that?
The Swim Center is very lucky to have re-opened during the pandemic, and we hope you are enjoying the pool! While we were able to re-open in a safe manner, we are constantly scrutinizing our limited budget to look for ways to either make or save money. If you are interested in helping to support the Swim Center, there are a variety of ways! You can do a one time donation, you can donate an amount each month, or you can request a list of items that are needed for the pool that we most likely would not be able to purchase on our own.

To monetarily donate, visit our online registration system and click on “Aquatics Programs.” Under “Activity Number” type in 863001 and click “Search.” Click on the green + next to the month we’re currently in. You can only donate one time per month. To donate an item, please email Beth Frazer, Recreation Supervisor at bfrazer@ci.el-cerrito.ca.us for a list of items.