Cottonmill Swimming Pool

The first swimming pool was the pond created for the water mill that gives the area its name. A water mill is known to have existed on this site from the 1700s until 1883 when the mill pond became an open air baths. The current building and swimming pool dates to 1905 when it was knows as the “City of St Albans Swimming Bath”. It remained the City’s swimming pool until it was retired in the 1970s and replaced by the Westminster Lodge Swimming pool. The building and the pool was then adopted by our club and used for diver training. In recent years the pool was refurbished and the club expanded from being a diving club to include swimming members. It now boasts a new pool surround, pool liner and a modern pool filter.

It is open to club members all year round except when we had to close due to government social distancing regulations and when it gets so cold that the water freezes. Then it gets used for ice diving training.  

For the majority of the time the pool is configured exclusively for lane swimming and at other times it is divided with a temporary dividing rope and the splash and deep zones are activated, as shown in the diagram below.

When in Operation the deep zone is used by dive members to test their equipment and the splash zone is a shallow area where club members and their children can play. At other times the pool is configured for lane swimming only.

The pool operates without permanent lifeguards and we can only do this because every member has been briefed on swimming pool safety and follows the Pool Safety Operating Procedures and agrees to the terms and conditions that make each adult members legally responsible for the safe operation of the pool. 

The demand for new swimming memberships far exceeds our safe operating capacity. One of the ways we maintain a safe operation is to restrict the number of pool users. We control the numbers in the pool by using a booking system. 

Pool Configuration

The temporary blue divider rope used to designate the Splash Zone is permanently attached midway along the black divider rope. In the default configuration the carabiner end is connected to the eyelet in lane #6. When the splash zone is operational the carabiner is moved and connected to the eyelet on the edge of the pool in lane#1. Watch the video below to see how to do this.

The first member to arrive to use the splash zone is required to move the temporary divider rope into the active position that delimitates the splash zone. The first member to arrive for lane swimming after the splash zone time has expired is required to move the temporary divider rope back into the default position.

Monday 26th July to Sunday 26th September
The splash zone is operating every day with 25 timeslots for family splash time (Max. 75 bathers) and 8 timeslots for lane swimming (8 bathers). At other times there are 32 timeslots for lane swimming.

Pool Configuration

Booking System

All pool usage must be booked by the member using the booking system except for SCUBA diving activities which must be preapproved and booked through the BSAC branch Diving Officer.

Eligible members were emailed a registration link from the booking system when it was setup in July 2020 or when the member joined. They had 14 days to activate their account before the registration expired. Members who forget their password can reset it. Members who didn’t successfully register within 14 days need to request a new link from the club’s membership team.

As a generic guide use the Skedda help page to show you how to create a booking

How to book a swim slot

  • You can book an available slot from one of the 32 lane slots or 20 splash slots up to a week in advance
  • Book a maximum of 4 swim slots per day but the total time of your slots cannot exceed your quota of 2 hours per day
  • The swim slots can be booked for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours. – this can be split across family splash time (splash slot) and lane swimming (lane slot)
  • Please only book for the time you intend to swim and if you intend to swim for 30 minutes or less please book a 30 minute swim slot
  • Cancel your swim slot if you know you can no longer attend so the slots can be used by another member. You cannot cancel a slot after it has started
  • The slots are listed with the 32 lane slots shown first followed by the splash slots

To book a lane swim:

create a unique booking slot for each person who will be lane swimming. Lane slots cannot be shared. So when you are lane swimming with your child who can competently lane swim, you must book a dedicated slot for them using part of your 2 hour per day pool time allocation

  • There are 12 swim slots available when family splash time is on, and 32 when it is not
  • Select the day and scroll until you find an available lane slot time and click on the slot to open booking details
  • On a smart phone use the magnifying icon on the left hand top corner of the booking system to filter available slots to save you scrolling through all the slots. On a normal browser you filter using the grey dropdown box in the top right hand side
  • Complete the details in the pop up box including filling in the end time of your swim and then press the confirm booking button.
  • A valid booking will return you to the main menu but if your booking was invalid it will give you an error and the reason. Correct the invalid information in the booking and confirm the booking
  • When you are lane swimming with your child who can competently lane swim, you must book a dedicated slot for them using part of your 2 hour per day pool time allocation

To book splash time:

Each splash slots booking assumes 3 family members (parent + 2 children) are in the splash zone. One parent can supervise a maximum of two children so additional children must be booked in using the other parents credentials who must accompany the children to the pool.

  • There are 25 splash time slots available when family splash time is on to limit usage to 75 bathers.
  • Select the day and scroll until you find an available lane slot time and click on the slot to open booking details
  • On a smart phone use the magnifying icon on the left hand top corner of the booking system to filter available slots to save you scrolling through all the slots. On a normal browser you filter using the grey dropdown box in the top right hand side
  • Complete the details in the pop up box including filling in the end time of your swim and then press the confirm booking button.
  • A valid booking will return you to the main menu but if your booking was invalid it will give you an error and the reason. Correct the invalid information in the booking and confirm the booking
  • Each adult member attending family splash time must book a slot, so if you and your partner are attending with your children, both adult members book a splash time slot – you do not need to book slots for your children