Swim At Your Own Risk
- Chicago beach-goers will be setting their own bacteria thresholds this summer, as the city’s Park District does away with its frequent swim bans based onE. colicounts.
Would-be swimmers still will get advisories up and down the lakefront letting them know if bacteria levels exceed federal water quality standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. But lifeguards will not stop people from wading in if tests show the level of E. coli bacteria has hit a higher mark.
“We found those standards to be too restrictive and prone to errors,” said Cathy Breitenbach, director of lakefront operations for the Park District. “Those higher numbers are short-lived.”
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