Frequently asked questions

Why is there an admission policy?

Recreation Excellence makes every effort to ensure the safety of all our guests. Admission policies are established as a part of the facility rules, including items such as minimum age and requirements for supervision of children. 

What is included in a drop-in?

Drop-ins are single, one-time use admission with no in/out privileges. Drop-ins have access to the facility during specific swim timeslots. Drop-ins are first come, first served. 

*Registered programs are not included. 

Why do we have to take off our outdoor shoes?

Provincial health guidelines prohibit outdoor footwear of any type on the pool deck, as dirt and bacteria can contaminate the changeroom floor and pool deck where guests walk with bare feet. These contaminants could then be carried into the pool water. Mud, dirt, rocks, and grit can also be harmful to equipment like the treadmills, steps, and mats.  

We ask that all guests of the facility remove their outdoor shoes upon entering the facility, carry them to your locker in the change room, and carry them back when you are done. 

Who can use the universal change room?

Anyone can use the universal change room as it is an inclusive space for guests with children, those requiring assistance, and people of all gender identities.   

What do I do if I lose something?

Please come in person to the front counter and describe the item that you lost. Recreation Excellence customer service representatives will be happy to reunite you with your lost item. Items are kept for a maximum of 1 month for the exception of personal hygiene items that get discarded. All lost and found items must be claimed in person as staff are unable to confirm items over the phone.  

Can I take pictures of my children in the pool?

In most cases we would be happy to permit picture taking, but we do need to be diligent to ensure that all guests are comfortable. It is important that the only visible subjects in your images are your family members, and certain situations pictures/videos may not be appropriate.

Please connect with the lifeguard on the pool deck prior to taking pictures or videos. Ensure that all recording devices are turned off and stored prior to accessing the change rooms.  

Can I breastfeed my baby in the pool?


Where do I get a swim diaper for my infant?

​For your convenience infant swim diapers are available for purchase at the registration desk, or you are welcome to purchase them from any local vendor. Some swim diapers are single use (must be disposed of) and others are reusable but must be washed between uses. 

Do I need to get in the pool with my children? 

For children under 7 years old, yes, you will need to be in your swimsuit in the water and within arms’ reach. Guardians must be 16+ years to actively supervise a maximum of 2 children.

For children 7+ years, parent supervision is not required. You are welcome to drop them off and watch from the bleachers.  

What time is public swimming? 

Recreation Excellence offers multiple 1.5 hour timeslots of “public swimming.” Click here to see the scheduling page to find the type of swim that best suits your needs.


Capacity for each timeslots will be dependant on the availability of the lifeguards. Capacities may be restricted to 35 swimmers per timeslot and will be based on first come, first served.

You can also download our RECEX APP and get all the information right on your mobile device! The advantage to our APP is that you can sign up to receive push notifications to receive timely updates.

Our lifeguards are happy to help, just give them a call or stop by the registration counter and they are happy to assist you to find the best time for your swim. 

I forgot my towel and goggles; can I borrow one from the lost and found? 

Unfortunately, we cannot lend out other people’s items. But lucky for you we have goggles, towels, and swim diapers available for purchase. Our friendly lifeguards can help you get set up.   

Do you have flutter boards and other training equipment I can use?

Yes, we have a supply of flutter boards, pull buoys, and PFDs that can be borrowed during your swim. Please return the equipment after you are finished using it. 

Can I bring my Certified Service Dog into the facility?

Yes, both Certified Guide Dogs and Qualified Service Dogs that have been trained and tested have the right to access any location where the public is allowed. Please display your Service Dog ID Card to the Recreation Excellence customer service representative to obtain entry.  Please note: The guide or service dog is not permitted into the water but can remain poolside for the duration of the handler’s swim and like anyone acting inappropriately, a person may be refused access or asked to leave if they or their guide or service dog is disruptive. 

Why does a pool close unexpectedly?

Recreation Excellence teams work extremely hard to prevent all closures. Certified pool operators and our facility maintenance team perform numerous preventative maintenance tasks to keep the facility operating smoothly. Sometimes elements outside their control force amenities to close and this is just as frustrating for our teams as it is you. Rest assured, we would much rather see you and your family having fun, and we are sincerely sorry anytime your expectations are not met.


*HOT TIP* GET THE RECEX APP. A key feature of the app is the amenity closure notification. Once you have downloaded the app, click the notification tab, and subscribe to receive notifications on your favourite amenities.  

Emergency closures can be caused by: 

  •  A medical emergency, where a person requires medical attention, and key staff are taken away from their regular duties to assist. Recreation Excellence teams will need time to complete forms, debrief, and may need to bring in a new team before the facility or amenity can be safely reopened. 
  • A mechanical failure, where a piece of equipment is no longer working as it should. The City of Abbotsford teams will investigate various solutions including permanent part replacements to safe short-term solutions. Closures may be required to isolate, remove, repair, or replace the failed equipment. 
  • Public health orders may require facility closures, restricted capacity or other specific requirements. These orders may be sudden with little notice and the Recreation Excellence teams will ensure they are informed of the latest updates and requirements and will always comply with provincial directives as your health and safety is paramount to us. 
  • Pool contaminations are THE WORST! The pool water is carefully filtered, sanitized, heated, and balanced by certified pool operators. They do everything they can to make sure the pool water is perfectly safe for each swim. Unfortunately, contaminants can be brought into the pool by swimmers. Contaminants such as oil, soil, bacteria, vomit, or feces, can be harmful and specific protocols must be followed by our operators to ensure the water is cleaned and sanitized properly. 
Why does the pool have to close for so long after a pool contamination?

We hear you… we do not like pool foulings either! The City of Abbotsford pool operators must clean and sanitize the pool water along with the equipment and any pool amenities that encountered the contamination. This may require vacuuming the pool, scrubbing surfaces, and adjusting the chemicals in the pool water and cleaning the filters. We need to make sure that we allow the chemicals the right amount of time to effectively clean and sanitize all the water (up to 1.5 million litres! Wow, that is a lot).


The length of time a pool is closed depends on a variety of factors but can be from 20 minutes to more than 36 hours. The Public Health Act sets the required timelines and ranges for the water to be properly treated and sanitized and The City of Abbotsford pool operators will always comply with those recommendations to keep our staff, guests and you and your family safe. 
How can pool contaminations be prevented?

Great Question!  


  • Use the bathroom before your swim and take frequent bathroom breaks during the swim. Don’t ask, just take everyone on regular breaks. 
  • Incontinent individuals, children under 3 and those not toilet trained must wear an approved swim diaper and plastic pool pants under their bathing suit.  
  • Check swim diapers every 30 – 60 minutes. 
  • Plan to eat after your swim. Not eating before or during your swim reduces the chances of vomit contamination. 
  • Stay at home if you are sick or have diarrhea. Wait 2 weeks after symptoms subside before returning to the pool.
  • Please do not go swimming if you are feeling unwell, especially if you have an upset stomach. 
  • Do not bring your child to swimming lessons if they are feeling unwell, have diarrhea, are vomiting (or have vomited in the past day), or have a cough. 
  • Shower with soap and water for 90 seconds before swimming. 
  • wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after using the toilet or changing diapers.  
  • Children under 3, or those not toilet trained or incontinent must wear leak-proof swim diapers, with plastic pants. 
  • Take children for frequent bathroom breaks, ensure your child uses the bathroom prior to entering the pool and if your child needs to use the bathroom during swimming, take him/her to the washroom immediately!
    • Change diapers in the change rooms and not at the poolside.  
    • Dispose of diapers properly and clean up the diaper changing area.  
  • Excess oils from lotion, sweat, cosmetics and dirt use up the pool’s chemical power, leaving less power to kill germs. Taking a cleansing shower with soap before you swim makes a significant difference! 

Do you use chlorine or salt in your pool?

The short answer is that our pools are sanitized with a sophisticated chlorination system. The City of Abbotsford uses chlorine systems with a continuous 24 hour/day monitoring system complimented by manual water tests and further visual inspections daily. They also send weekly environmental microbiology (pool water) samples to the Public Health Laboratory for further testing.


What you might not know is that commercial salt-water pools have the same levels of chlorine as our pool. Chlorine is the premiere disinfection tool used to sanitize the water by killing microbes, bacteria and viruses. Many facilities across North America will purchase chlorine in various forms, pails of liquid, buckets of granules or pucks or cylinders of gas. The facilities boasting “salt” water pools are not buying chlorine the same way we are, they are manufacturing the chlorine! Salt-water pools have systems that take the dissolved salt particles and converts them into chlorine! How cool is that! #Science. So, salt-water pools are chlorine pools. 
Can the hours of operation change?

Recreation Excellence works to maximize facility use, while remaining fiscally responsible to the City of Abbotsford and the community. The hours of operation are reviewed regularly, along with research on past, and current facility demand and usage trends. Forecasts on usage and budget are generated and operational hours are selected in collaboration with the City of Abbotsford. 


The current national Lifeguard and Swim Instructor shortage is affecting pools in and around our region and the situation is dire. Many facilities remain closed, or are offering reduced scheduling or limited capacity. Centennial Outdoor Pool hours of operation and programs will be impacted by the lack of availability. 

We are working hard to recruit, train and schedule as many lifeguards and instructors as possible. Our community needs your help. If you are or were a lifeguard/swim instructor, we need you! Please contact us at

Public and lane swim pool times will be published here on the website once the schedule for that week is confirmed.

If you have any other questions or would like to inquire in our services, contact us.

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