Frequently Asked Questions

This will be updated throughout the season and year to year as questions arise.

 FAQ Ordered by Latest Asked First:

— There was thunder the other day & it seemed close but the guards didn’t get people out of the pool until 45 minutes later!  I didn’t feel safe and thought we should have been out sooner.  Why did it take so long to call a closure due to lightning?

Please know there are printed flowchart procedures posted inside concessions which the guards follow concerning lightning and these procedures are keeping both you and them safe (even in some instances when thunder is heard).

Let me begin by saying your safety is our primary concern.  This concern is coupled by maximizing your ability to utilize the pool so you feel you’re getting your money’s worth.  This is why EARC purchased a lightning detector a few years ago and integrated that with the use of lightning apps as well as sensory/aural detection.  In the past, if thunder was heard we had to get everyone out of the pool no matter the distance away.  We can often hear thunder 14 to 17 miles away as storms pass around the area but at these distances it is not a safety concern for the pool.

As the storms move around EARC, every individual lightning strike/distance/and time is monitored so the pool is not emptied until the storm impacts our safety zone radius.  This benefits you and your pool time as this monitoring can sometimes add 45 minutes onto the time between when thunder is heard and before the storm’s lighting becomes an actual safety issue.  Our procedure also allows us to more quickly evaluate and get you back into the water for instances when a storm briefly comes close but again drifts outside our danger zone.

We close the pool (and keep it closed at times) for lightning safety and not just because of thunder – one could electrocute you and the other is just noise.

Remember, you also always have the option to individually remove yourself from the pool earlier than when ordered by a guard if your personal level of perceived lightning safety tells you to do so.

— I’m new here.  Will I automatically be invited to join next season, or is there something I need to do to register interest?

This season’s members get first dibs to rejoin for next year!

Members this summer season are given first opportunities to renew for next year (normally by around mid-March via email/online).  After this initial period, open spots are offered in groupings to persons off the wait-list (each time the group is given a week or so to respond before moving down the list).  In addition to sending these emails, updates to the renewal process for current membership and people from the wait-list will be posted on our website as well.

One note: if you use hotmail or an icloud email address please know these are notorious for filing our emails as SPAM – please consider updating your email address to a more functional account so you do not miss your membership renewal opportunity.

— Why do you require parents to be present with their children at the pool?  Aren’t the guards there to keep them safe?

One reason EARC is a more comfortable, friendly place for you and our guards to work is that we have operated and wish to continue to operate as a safe environment where everyone plays a part in a level of personal responsibility not expected at some other pools in the area.  As in any group situation, when there is one or two persons requiring an unequal amount of resources to monitor and keep safe they become a distraction to everyone’s safety and at that point everyone’s problem.

It can take as little as 18 seconds for a person/child to go from a surprise dunk/gulp under water to drowning and clinical death requiring resuscitation.  From a practical safety issue, yes the guards are there for everyone’s safety and to perform rescues but not to babysit your kids. 

You (and none of us ) want the guards to have to rescue your children.  This is why you are required to be present with your children at the pool and have a shared responsibility in theirs and everyone’s safety.

— Are Board Members paid?  Can Board Members benefit financially from the pool?

By all United State and NC rules, laws, and statutes governing operations of EARC and our type of non-profit, Board Members cannot benefit financially from the pool.  In fact it would be illegal for any board member’s actions to lead to their own personal financial gain either immediately or in some future dealing related to their past or present volunteer work related to EARC.  The board is a fully volunteer ‘working’ board performing functions which directly benefit EARC and it’s membership and result in a direct operational cost savings each and every year. 

— I heard the pool is a non-profit.  What kind?  Are my fees tax deductible?  Who owns the pool?

The pool is incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)(7) social/recreation club.  The main difference between this recreational type and a ‘standard’ nonprofit you’re more familiar with is that if EARC were to ever fold or be liquidated any surplus/profit would be split among the membership.  Whereas a standard non-profit’s resources are transferred to other nonprofits. 

The other major difference is your fees paid to EARC aren’t tax deductible owing to being directly compensated later if the nonprofit were to fold.  In essence you can think of the pool as a type of co-op or similar to what would occur if a group of neighbors whose property all joined together each decided to donate a portion of their adjoining land to create a shared pool between all their families.

In essence, the membership each seasonal year (one Memorial Day weekend to the following year) are owners of the pool for that year.  Ownership changes each year based upon membership rolls.

— What happened to the pine trees along the parking lot edge?  Why were they cut down?

Owing to their roots being partially under a paved area as well as on the edge of a steep bank these trees have had less than optimal growing conditions while age wise, the trees have been/are past their prime.  For the previous 5 years the white pines had either their tops or large 10″ to 12″ diameter limbs broken out during thunderstorms.  In each case, we were all lucky as people and vehicles were spared from the falling debris.  There were 3 additional white pines removed along the edge of the driveway down to the lower parking lot.  One of these was leaning toward the building, hollow in the middle, and filled with carpenter ants.  This tree, if it had fallen, would have taken out our power line as well as the front section of the pool building containing the pump room.  As there is discussion, concern, and questions of how best to ultimately fix the current roof and/or update the pool house it was decided it was prudent to remove trees (which posed a hazard to the building structure as well as to the grounds and persons located inside the fenced in area).  The trees were removed at the optimal time during the year to minimize costs and the trunks were actually collected for use as lumber – further lowering costs.

— What’s up with the playground?  Why hasn’t the playground equipment been replaced?

This is essentially a casualty of COVID-19 (2020-2021).  In a perfect world, the unprecedented occurrences of last year would not have occurred.  We approached early 2020 with the anticipation of making in excess of $20,000 in spite of already allocating money toward starting blocks for CROCS and toward engineering and architectural plans needed to accurately discuss any future repairs/upgrades to the pool house itself.  There was discussion/thoughts of possibly rolling in a replacement splash pad (for the playground equipment) into any plans for updating the pool building itself.

This is still a possibility and something for current membership to consider going forward.  Replacement parts for our current playground are no longer sold as they no longer meet current insurance/safety standards.  As many of you who work in the school systems know, commercial playground equipment is very expensive.  We cannot simply replace the equipment with consumer/home sets as these would not be properly protected/covered under our insurance.

A new, comparable commercial playground set would cost ~$12,000 while the initial cost of a splash pad replacement play area (with the ability for expansion/addition of play spaces) would cost ~$30,000.  The playground equipment would replace what we have now, while the splash pad would add to the functionality of EARC’s grounds and most likely relieve some swimming (crowd) pressure from the pool itself as more children played in the spray and water spout features in a splash pad.  Again, this is something to consider going forward after we hopefully return to complete budget normalcy following 2020 and 2021 and is why current the playground is “riding out” another year.

— Can I rent a grill?

Yes you may.  Grills have always been available for a $5 additional fee whenever you may schedule a daytime party but if you want to rent a grill one afternoon for a mini-cookout in the grass with your family that can also be done (based upon availability due to scheduled parties) for the same $5 fee.

— What are your adult (18 & over only) lap swim times?

During the normal summer hours we have 30 minute length adult lap swim times on the even hours (12:00, 2:00, 4:00, & 6:00).  In 2021 we added a 10:00 AM adult lap swim during the weekday as well.  During the time Buncombe County Schools are in session and we open at 4:00 we will not begin with an adult lap swim.  On Holiday Days when we are busier than normal we will not have Adult Lap Swim times.  

— Can the pool be warmer?  Colder?  Is it unsafe for me to swim laps since it’s 85?

Fina says competitive water is 77-82 degrees (a temperature most find too cold for a family/kid friendly recreation play pool). Olympics has had water up to 90, but most competitive swimmers would find this hard to train/swim in. Our EARC pool is kept around 84-86 as this is the temperature at which most small children don’t almost immediately have their lips turn blue.

Yes, if you swim laps at some other pools then our water is warmer than you are used to but lap swimmers make up a very small percentage of all users of the pool.  It is not unsafe for you to swim in but just as you would make adjustments to your routine if you were a runner and it was a warmer day than the day before you make an adjustment to your routine as you swim in warmer water.

— Why can’t my child float in the deep end of the pool with their coast guard approved flotation device?

This is one we have tried to find a happy medium for everyone’s enjoyment and the ability of our lifeguards to adequately monitor the pool for all members’ safety. 

By definition, if your child is needing to use the flotation device then they cannot swim or swim at a level where they should not routinely be in water over their heads.  We have tried in the past to let flotation wearing children in the deep when a parent is accompanying their child, but unfortunately many parents fall short on this responsibility.  This also required our guards to try to keep a running tally of “this kid is with that parent, this kid doesn’t have a parent”  etc.  The guards are present for everyone’s safety and need to have their attention focused upon monitoring the pool for everyone’s swimming difficulties and not keeping specific children paired with a specific adult.  Additionally, the deep end by volume is almost twice the size of the area on the other side of the rope and our guards must monitor both the surface and what’s under water.

The happy medium reached is that your child (with their flotation device) can still be in the shallower areas of the pool but not the “deep end”.  This gives them access to approximately 2/3rds of the pool by area but in regions where most of those around them can touch the bottom and immediately come to their aid if they were to have issues with their flotation device.

We have erred on the side of caution to benefit the majority of our members.  Yes this does not make everyone happy but is required for a communally shared resource such as our pool.

— What Age Can I Leave My Child Unsupervised?

Children 13 years old and older may be left without adult supervision if they have passed Level III swimming or the equivalent.  Parents must come to the front desk to sign in children who will be left unsupervised and must provide updated emergency numbers for that day.  Level III swimmers can do or possess the following skills:  Jump into deep water, head first entry from sitting or kneeling, submerging and retrieving an object, bobbing, survival float for 30 seconds, treading water for 30 seconds, front crawl 15 yards, butterfly 15 feet, back crawl 15 yards, elementary rescues, safe diving, check-call-care.

— What Age Can My Older Child function as Nanny for their younger siblings?

Children 16 years old and older may supervise their younger siblings without you as a parent present.  Logic here is if they are old enough to operate a motor vehicle and get themselves to the pool on their own then they should be capable of watching their younger sibling with your approval.

— What age is “TOO OLD” for my child to be counted on my Family Membership?

Young adults younger than 21 years old can be on your Family Membership.  Logic here is if they’re old enough to walk into a bar and buy a drink with their real ID then they should be under their own membership.  You still have the option to add them as a Child Care Provider (see below).

— Have membership rates increased?  Why?

Yes, there have been adjustments both in 2017 and for 2020/2021.  The reasons are two-fold: 1) We have made efforts over the past 3 years to increase our wages incrementally to match those of the surrounding pools to both retain and gain new lifeguards.  2) The ‘lengthening’ of the summer as a result of the local school systems starting school a week and a half to two weeks later has increased our labor costs (in past years these would have been shorter 4 hour days but are now 9 hours in length).  This has increased costs but also allows you an equivalent longer full-time summer season. 

Lastly, please remember our membership rates remain less expensive (adjusted for inflation) than they were 15 years ago – we are doing more with less.

If still frustrated, please also remember our pool stays open weekdays the last half of August when the public pools will be closed!

— Will there be late nights? / Why have late nights decreased in frequency?

Probably so, but as was the case last year if there is not good attendance their frequency will decrease or they will not occur.  Please recall our pool opens earlier and closes later every single day of the summer compared to the local public pools giving our guests an extra 2.5 hours of swim time every single day.  What has been the case in recent years is we keep the pool staffed on late nights so closing procedures can occur but there are often only the same 5 to 7 people in the pool.  The result is 1% of our members account for 5% of the cost of staffing the pool over the course of the summer.

Yes, this is being mindful of the percentages and no one likes to ‘be a number’, but this minding of the budget has allowed EARC to become solvent again in recent years following a long period of financially being in the red.

— Is there a Guest Fee?

Yes.  The guest fee is $10.00.  $5 on late night Fridays.  

New for 2019: Guest fee has been dropped back to $5 as we are at capacity.  If it becomes too crowded due to guest numbers the fee will be reevaluated.

Please note that guests and their accompanying members must register with the front desk upon entering the pool grounds.

— Can a grandparent, nanny, babysitter, neighbor, etc. who watches my kid(s) sometimes be added to my membership so they can bring my child(ren) when I’m at work?

Yes, we allow this – we are family friendly and want your children to enjoy the pool as much as possible.  

We only ask that the single childcare provider be present only with your children (not come in by themselves or also bring in their own children) and that they leave within 10 – 15 minutes of arrival of either of the parents/guardians listed on the account.  

Just email the board at [email protected] at any time to update child care names.

We will ask for a photo ID to match the childcare provider with the name you’ve provided both for security and insurance purposes.  It’s best to just provide this early via email so they can be added ahead of time.

— Can my monthly membership be converted to a full summer membership?

New in 2019: We no longer offer monthly memberships.

Yes, we allow this – just email the board at [email protected] with your request so your membership information can be updated and pay the price difference the next time you’re at the pool.

— Do my out of town guests/family staying with my family have to pay guests fees?

No they do not.  Our policy is that out of town guests are counted as members of your family membership while staying with you and they may accompany you as your guest with no additional fee.  We will still need to record their entry into the pool and will ask for a photo ID to verify address but they will not be required to pay the guest fee.

— Do you have a snack bar?

Yes!  The snack bar has a range of room temp, hot & cold items as well as frozen ice cream treats ranging from pure sugary, salty snack items to healthier fruit cups in juice, cheese and yogurt snacks etc. – we try to cater to everyone.  As a non-profit social club, items are priced for convenience but not to gouge. 

As members you’re also allowed to bring items in from home or have food delivered to you at the pool.

— Do you have Wi-Fi?

Yes!  Wi-Fi – it’s password protected and set so each individual user cannot see others utilizing the network.  NEW FOR 2019!  We finally got the cable company to run service to our address.  Our base service is over 400 Mbps down and over 20 Mbs up.  We also have a new wifi mesh network installed with speeds averaging 50 – 60 Mbps down and 20 up around the pool deck and grounds. 

— Are there shady areas around the pool?

Yes!  There’s a number of umbrella​d tables.  We also have two covered pavilions with picnic tables.  There are also a number of shade trees in our grassy areas and a few picnic tables under these as well.  Some members will move a chair from our concrete deck to the shade (we ask that you move them back at the end of day) while others bring a blanket and set up shop under their own shady tree.  However, the majority of the concrete deck is open for sun lovers.  However, the distance from grass/trees to the pool is only about 25 – 35 feet.