June 5, 2008
State public health director announces Web site allowing the public to check beach water quality before swimming
Web site lists beach closings and water test results
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To help keep you safe and healthy this summer, Dr. Damon T. Arnold, state public health director, today announced 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 (IDPH) Web site, www.idph.state.il.us now includes information about public and private beaches, including water testing results, advisories or beach closures and beach monitoring history.
“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 Dr. Arnold.
The Web site includes beach site details such as the location, whether it’s public or private, who owns the beach and who monitors it. The Web site also includes water quality test results, when a beach was closed, for how many days and why.
IDPH 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 (BEACH) Act of 2000 and are funded by the IDPH.
This year IDPH applied for federal beach program funding to be used to help support water quality monitoring on Lake Michigan. IDPH 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.
A direct link to the Illinois Department of Public Health Beach Monitoring Web site is http://app.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/ilbeaches/public/
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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