Chicago - Oct. 23, 2019
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Illinois Beaches Can Make You Sick

With summer in full swing, Illinois beachgoers should beware: It might not be safe to go in the water.

Last year, all 19 beaches sampled across the state had water pollution levels that put swimmers at risk of getting sick on at least half of days tested last year, according to a new report by Environment Illinois Research & Policy Center.

The study, Safe for Swimming?, looked at fecal bacteria data from beaches and found alarming results.

Fecal bacteria can make people ill, particularly with gastrointestinal ailments. Common sources of this pollution include stormwater runoff and sewage overflows. An estimated 57 million people nationwide get sick from swimming in polluted waters annually, according to a 2018 study.

Safe for Swimming? includes several recommendations to prevent bacterial pollution and keep our beaches safe for swimming. Rain barrels, rooftop gardens, permeable pavement, and urban green space can all absorb stormwater runoff and prevent sewage overflows. Congress is now considering legislation to increase funding for such "green infrastructure" projects through the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

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See also:

* WBEZ: The Scoop On Poop At Chicago's Beaches.

* USA Today: There's Poop In The Water' At America's Dirtiest Beaches. Is Yours On The List?

* Patch: Unsafe Bacteria Levels Close 4 Evanston Beaches To Swimming.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on July 23, 2019


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