Applicability. This policy shall govern the regulation of swimwear at aquatic facilities owned or operated now and in the future by the City of Wilmington (the “City”).
Permitted Swimwear. Patrons who are using the City’s aquatic facilities’ water areas are required to wear appropriate swimming attire. “Appropriate swimming attire” is clothing, including optional footwear, that:
is designed and manufactured to be worn during swimming and other water-based activities;
does not impair free movement of the wearer’s body or impair the wearer’s ability to swim or support one’s self at the water surface;
is clean and free from hardware, such as buckles or rivets, that might injure the other patrons or damage the aquatic facility’s structures; and
is NOT: a bra, underwear, or other undergarment; denim pants or shorts; or ill-fitting or excessively loose.
Religious and Financial Accommodation. It is the City’s intent and goal to provide equal access to its aquatic facilities to all persons regardless of their religious beliefs or economic circumstances. As such, the City will accommodate patrons who, for religious or financial reasons, are unable to wear a swimsuit which fully meets the requirements of appropriate swimming attire by permitting them to use the aquatic facility’s water areas while wearing clothing that is consistent with their religious beliefs or economic circumstances and which does not present an unreasonable safety risk. The following qualifications apply:
The clothing material must be lightweight, such as nylon, polyester, Lycra, or thinly-woven natural materials (e.g., muslin, linen, and similar materials) so that it does not inhibit one’s ability to swim or support one’s self at the water’s surface.
The clothing must not be excessively loose such that it could pose a risk of entanglement, entrapment, or strangulation to the patron.
Examples of clothing that meet these guidelines include, but are not limited to, active wear such as athletic pants, shorts, and shirts, secure head coverings, leggings, religious swimwear, or other active wear made out of lightweight materials such as polyester, nylon, or thinly-woven natural materials.
Right to Revoke or Limit Water Access; Right to Inquire. While access to City-owned or operated aquatic facilities for the public is a priority, upon observation or reports from City employee-lifeguards, the aquatic facilities’ managers and supervisors have the right to limit, condition, or revoke access to water areas to any patron whose attire has been observed entangling or entrapping such patron or inhibiting the patron’s ability to swim or support themselves at the water’s surface.
In assessing whether any patron’s swimwear complies with this regulation, City employee-lifeguards, managers, or supervisors may inquire as to a patron’s need for an accommodation and visually inspect the patron’s swimwear for compliance with this regulation which, if necessary, may include requiring the patron to exit any water area during such visual inspection. All inquiries and visual inspections shall be performed in a manner which shows respect towards, preserves the dignity of, and avoids the unnecessary embarrassment of the patrons involved.
Complaints. The Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation shall designate a person or persons to receive complaints related to this regulation (the “Department Representative”), and shall provide appropriate training to each Department Representative. Complete contact information for the Department Representative (including telephone, e-mail, and mailing address) and instructions for submitting a complaint shall be made available on the City’s website and in at least one publicly-viewable location at each of the City’s aquatics facilities. Patrons who wish to report a violation of this regulation or dispute any determination made under this policy by any manager, supervisor, or employee of any City aquatic facility may do so by submitting a complaint by telephone, e-mail, or U.S. mail to the Department Representative. The Department Representative shall provide a response to all such complaints no later than five (5) business days from the date of receipt. The City shall maintain a record of all complaints, and make determinations granted and denied by the City available for review by the public.