May 24, 1996
NEW BATHING BEACH REGULATIONS TO PROTECT SWIMMERS
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has enacted new regulations for this summer's swimming season to improve public safety and to protect swimmers from illness at Illinois' 350 licensed bathing beaches.
Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director, said revisions to the state's Bathing Beach Code, which are effective May 25, were made in response to illnesses and safety concerns reported over the past several years at bathing beaches.
"These requirements can better assure the safety of the thousands of persons who enjoy the state's beaches each summer," Dr. Lumpkin said. "But in order for these new laws to be effective, it will require the understanding and cooperation of the public and enforcement by beach operators."
Key components of the new regulations include requiring all infants not toilet trained to wear tight fitting rubber or plastic pants to keep from contaminating the water, warning swimmers not to drink the water because of the threat of illness and giving beach operators the authority to refuse admission to persons who have contagious or infectious diseases.
Beach patrons will be given notice of the new rules on placards that must be displayed at the entrance to bathhouses or in other conspicuous locations at the beach.
In addition, two beach water samples are required to be collected twice a month and analyzed to ensure the water quality conforms to the Department's bacteriologic standards (no more than 500 fecal coliform bacteria per 100 milliliters or 235 E. coli bacteria per 100 milliliters). If the samples demonstrate that the beach water exceeds these levels, the beach must be closed.
To ensure bathrooms are conveniently located for bathers, beaches will be required to have, at a minimum, one toilet or privy for each sex within 300 feet of the shoreline.
Other new regulations prohibit pets in the beach area, swimming after sunset or when lightning is present and feeding of wildlife. The beach area also must be kept free of debris, including waste from waterfowl or other wildlife.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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