Camping and swimming are important recreational pursuits for many people. Ensuring that the state's recreational areas, campgrounds, youth camps, swimming pools and bathing beaches follow health and safety standards is one of the Division's responsibilities.
State law requires the Division to annually inspect and license campgrounds in Illinois. The Campground Licensing and Recreational Area Act defines campground as a recreational area where three or more tents, cabins, recreational vehicles or other permanent or non-permanent type shelters are erected and maintained for camping or where space is provided for camping, temporary parking of recreational vehicles or placing of such tents, cabins, recreational vehicles or other permanent or non-permanent type shelters of any kind for 10 or more persons for six or more camping days during a calendar year. It includes any structure, tent, vehicle, enclosure, appurtenances or recreational equipment related to or used or intended for use as a part of such campground. Campgrounds within home rule units of government are exempt. Staff inspect the water supply and sewage disposal systems, the electrical systems, general sanitation, food service and recreational facilities. The Division also reviews construction plans for all new campgrounds and for major expansions or alterations of existing ones. Other types of recreational areas that do not provide overnight camping such as highway rest stops and picnicking areas are subject to the rules, but are not licensed or routinely inspected.
State law requires the Department to annually inspect and license youth camps. The Youth Camp Act defines a youth camp as any parcel of land having the general characteristics and features of a camp as the term is generally understood, used wholly or in part for recreational or instructional purposes and accommodating, for profit or under philanthropic or charitable auspices, five or more children under 18 years of age, apart from their parents, relatives or legal guardians for a period of three or more consecutive days or five days during the calendar year or more. This site may be equipped with temporary or permanent buildings and may be operated as a day camp or as a resident camp. Division staff inspect the water supply, sewage disposal system, electrical system, general sanitation, food service and water recreational facilities. The Division also reviews camp construction plans and issues permits for new camps.
Swimming pools have become standard features in hotels, motels, apartment complexes and subdivisions. However, swimming can be hazardous due to the numerous diseases that may be transmitted by contaminated water and the dangers associated with diving accidents and falls on wet surfaces. In order to minimize these risks, the Division requires the state's swimming pools, aquatic features and bathing beaches meet water quality and safety standards, including engineering design standards that apply to pools, aquatic features, bathing beaches, water supplies, bather preparation areas, and water treatment systems. The Division enforces these rules and regulations through plan approvals and inspections. An extensive sampling program of the licensed bathing beaches helps assure that they comply with bacteriological standards.
The Illinois Department of Public Health licenses facilities that meet the definition of a campground as defined in the Campground Licensing and Recreational Act in non-home rule units of government. The campground directory has been placed in an interactive application that will better meet user needs. With this application the user can:
The youth camp directory has been placed in an interactive application that will better meet user needs. With this application the user can:
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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