As summer draws closer and Chicago residents start heading to local beaches, the Chicago Park District and the Red Cross are reminding beachgoers to keep safety at the front of their minds this summer.
To that end, the Park District has two different rating systems that residents will need to pay attention to before they hit the beach. One is the water quality, which will be measured more effectively by a brand new system this summer. Tests will be done in hours instead of taking an entire day, and the district’s website will have more up-to-date information on whether beaches will be open or not.
The Park District also reminded residents Thursday of their color-coded system to measure the severity of waves and rip currents along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Green (low) means that the water is safe, but residents should still continue to use caution. Yellow (moderate) means that breaking waves and currents are expected, and those swimming in the water should use a flotation device.
Red (high) means that conditions are unsafe for swimming, and beachgoers should stay out of the water until conditions improve.
The Park District also advises residents to obey lifeguards and to only swim when they are present, to leave alcohol and glass containers at home, as they’re not permitted on the beach, and to put any coals from grilling (which can only be done in designated areas) into red hot metal containers.
Swim status, and other information about safety protocols and policies, can be found at the Park District website or by calling 312-74-BEACH.