Chicago’s beach season has officially begun.
Kicking off the long holiday weekend, the Chicago Park District announced that city beaches will be open from Friday through Sept. 4.
Beachgoers may notice some changes at area beaches, including a new water quality testing program.
According to the park district, the Rapid Testing method will expand at Chicago beaches this summer, with results reported via the beach website, a beach hotline and a flag system on display at various sand spots.
The testing takes two to three hours for results to show, officials said. The park district plans to partner with the University of Illinois at Chicago to test the water samples.
“That means, you know, that what we’re telling you about the water quality is current,” said Cathy Breitenbach, director of Cultural and Natural Resources.
Breitenbach noted that beaches with a green flag means the water is clean.