Everybody Out of the Water

Ban likely means E. coli present

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - MAY 22: Nichole Canori (L) and Patrick Woodard sunbathe near a sign that warns beach-goers to stay out of the water, which is polluted by run-off from a nearby storm drain and creek, at Will Rogers State Beach on May 22, 2009 in Pacific Palisades, California. According to the annual report on the beaches with the poorest dry weather water quality, released this week by Heal the Bay´┐Ż a clean-water group based in Santa Monica, California, six of the ten most polluted beach areas in California are in Los Angeles County. Heal the Bay analyzed water samples for bacterial levels from 502 coastal locations taken from April 2008 through March 2009. The results were similar to last year but likely incomplete, according to the group, because of a drop in testing by several counties that slashed spending in response to the state budget crisis. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    It's beautiful weather, but you may want to think twice about going to the beach.

    Chicago’s Park District issued swim advisories and bans on Saturday for a number of Chicago beaches.  Swimming was banned Saturday at Oak Street, North Avenue, Hollywood, Leone and 31st Street beaches. 
     
    By Sunday, swimming was allowed again at all of those beaches.  But depending on how much of a germaphobe you are, you may still want to stay out of the water. 
     
    The bans were issued because there is a risk of illness from excessive levels of E. coli bacteria.  That's right, kids.  There could be poo in that water.
     
    Calumet, Rainbow, South Shore, 63rd Street, 12th Street, Oak Street, Montrose, Foster, Hartigan and Jarvis Beaches were under a swim advisory Sunday, meaning it's still OK to swim but visitors should use caution because water conditions could change.  Don't drink the water, and wash your hands well before you eat anything.
     
    The best way to find out if the beach you're headed to is open or closed is to text its name to 312-715-SWIM (7946).  The Park District will let you know if it's safe to go back in the water.