. Ives Pool, Sebastopol, California
Ives Pool, Sebastopol, Calif. 707 823-8693
Ives Pool, 7400 Willow St, Sebastopol, Calif. 707 823-8693
The only public pool in Sonoma County run by a successful Non Profit organization


FAQ on Water Temperature at Ives Pool

How is the temperature controlled?

An electronic controller resides in the equipment room below the pool. It regulates temperature and water quality. By Board policy, it is set at 81°. The City of Sebastopol maintenance staff operates the controller. This winter, the City installed a fifth water heater that is helping to keep the water at a more even temperature. Even with the controller and five heaters, normal temperature variance is between 80-82°.

How and when is water temperature measured?

Aquatics Director Ricardo Freitas uses four different thermometers to check the water temperature to make sure the controller and heaters are working. The temperature is checked at various times during the day, at different depths, and at different locations. The temperature written on the white board is an average, and is taken at about the same time each day.

Who decides what the temperature should be?

The Board of Directors of West Sonoma County Swimmers/Friends of Ives Pool decides the target temperature.

What is the optimum temperature for water exercise?

There are many opinions and recommendations for optimum temperatures for water fitness. Here are a few:

  • The United States Water Fitness Association advocates 78-80° for competitive swim teams, 78 to 82° for aqua aerobics, and 84°+ for people with arthritis.
  • USA Swimming recommends water no higher than 82° for competitive swim team training, adult aerobic lap swimming, and high intensity vertical water exercise.
  • The Aquatic Exercise Association states that temperatures from 83-86° are the most comfortable for aquatic fitness classes.
  • The American Red Cross recommends a temperature of 78ºF for competitive swimming.

Why has the Board directed that the pool temperature be set at 81°?

In general, lap swimmers and our swim team prefer a cooler water temperature while classes and programs such as water aerobics and water gentle like it warmer. Since the pool is used for a variety of activities, and the water temperature takes too long to adjust to meet the daily variety of uses of the pool, we try to maintain a temperature that is most comfortable for the majority of users.

In addition to trying to meet the needs of most of our users, the Board is also committed to energy conservation. According to the U.S. Department of Energy,  "The energy consumption for each degree rise in temperature will cost 10%–30% more in energy costs, depending on your location. In warmer climates, this percentage is higher because of the relatively low cost of heating a pool at 78ºF."  

Why is the pool colder sometimes than others?

Our climate has tremendous daily temperature swings—sometimes as much as 40° in one day. It can take a long time for 200,000 gallons of water to heat a degree! Wind, cloud cover, and rain all affect the water temperature. Cooler air temperature, especially with wind, can also make us all feel colder.

What are my options if Ives Pool is too hot or too cold for me?

Finley Pool in Santa Rosa is warmer than Ives, while Ridgway is slightly cooler. In addition to its regular pool, the Santa Rosa YMCA has a small pool with warmer temperatures (up to 86°) for arthritis classes and other therapy uses.