Saturday, June 07, 2008
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State public health director announces Web pages allowing the public to check beach water quality before swimming

Site lists beach closings and water test results

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[June 07, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- To help keep you safe and healthy this summer, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, announced that the public can now check the water quality at beaches across the state with just the click of a button. The Illinois Department of Public Health now provides information online about public and private beaches, including water testing results, advisories or beach closures, and beach monitoring history.

Auto Repair"Illinois beaches are a great resource, and we want to make sure people remain safe when enjoying them. The Beach Monitoring Web site provides information daily about water quality and beach advisories or closures so you know if it's safe to swim that day," said Arnold.

The site includes beach site details such as the location, whether it's public or private, who owns the beach, and who monitors it. The site also includes water quality test results, when a beach was closed, for how many days and why.

The Department of Public Health licenses all swim beaches in Illinois under the Swimming Facility Act except for those on Lake Michigan that are operated by a municipality.

Municipalities operating beaches on Lake Michigan perform water testing and public notification in compliance with the federal Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act of 2000 and are funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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This year the Illinois Department of Public Health applied for federal beach program funding to be used to help support water quality monitoring on Lake Michigan. The department is issuing $164,000 in grants to jurisdictions along Lake Michigan to perform water quality testing and notify the public when bacteria levels are unhealthy:

  • Chicago Park District, $80,000

  • City of Evanston, $8,800

  • Lake County Health Department, $67,360

  • Glencoe Park District, $2,100

  • City of Kenilworth, $1,650

  • Wilmette Park District, $4,000

A direct link to the Illinois Department of Public Health Beach Monitoring site is

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]


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