Illinois ranks low in beach water quality

June 27, 2012

Jewell Washington

A new report gives Illinois low marks for beach water quality. The state ranks 28th out of 30 states for beach water quality, according to The Natural Resources Defense Council.

Chicago enacted a new policy this year to keep the beaches open, unless there is a sewage spill or leak.

 “A lot of what influences our beaches are very local to the beach,” said Cathy Breitenbach, director of lakefront operations for the Chicago Park District. “So if there is an issue at one beach you can go to another nearby beach where there may not be an issue that day.”

The Chicago Park District said beaches will post flags to inform beachgoers if the bacteria levels are high. The district also said it will issue an advisory if E. coli levels make it unsafe to swim.