What is the best water temperature for comfortable swimming? According to the National Oceanographic Data Center, 70-78 degrees is where most people feel comfortable swimming. I have found that water temperature of 70-78 is a bit cold for most of us north Texans. Most prefer somewhere between 80-84, but it really depends on what type of swimming is being done.
Competitive swimming—Most competitive swimmers like the water to be fairly cold, somewhere in the low to mid 70’s, depending on the intensity of the training. At these temperatures, the water will feel cold initially but once training begins, the body will heat up.
Lap swimming for exercise—Most lap swimmers like the water temperature to be somewhere between 75-80 degrees. Being active by swimming laps will cause the body to heat up fairly quickly.
Casual swimming—Most casual swimming pool users like the water in the 84-86 degree range. Hotels and resorts typically try to maintain their pool water temperature in this range.
Warm water swimming—There are some people that like the water to be in the low 90’s before they are real comfortable in the water. Many pools in the north Texas area, especially pools without shade, reach the low 90’s in July and August. During the record-breaking heat of 2011, the water temperature of many unshaded swimming pools reached the mid 90’s—which is very warm. This warm water caused some problems—as warm water is also more prone to chemical imbalances, and require more maintenance and upkeep than water that is colder. Chlorine in colder water lasts longer than in warm water.
As a convenience to pool owners, we have started including the average water temperature for unheated north Texas area swimming pools. If your water temperature varies from this by more than a few degrees, let us know.