&EFA
    United States
    Environmental Protection
    Agency
          EPA's  BEACH  Report:
          Illinois  2011  Swimming  Season
         August 2012
                       EPA820-F-12-019
  Introduction
  The Beaches Environmental Assessment and
  Coastal Health (BEACH) Act of 2000 authorizes
  EPA to provide grants to coastal and Great Lakes
  states, territories, and eligible tribes to monitor
  their coastal beaches for bacteria that indicate the
  possible presence of disease-causing pathogens
  and to notify the public when there is a potential
  risk to public health. The BEACH Act requires that
  recipients of those grants report their coastal beach
  monitoring and notification data to EPA. This fact
  sheet highlights the data submitted to EPA by the
  State of Illinois for the 2011 swimming season.


  2011 Swimming Season
  Monitoring and Notification
  Actions
  Illinois reports 56 beaches located in two counties
  (Figure 1). Illinois monitored 50 of those beaches
  during the 2011 swimming season (Table 1). When
  monitoring results at swimming beaches show
  that levels of specific indicator bacteria in the
  water exceed applicable water quality standards,
  Illinois officials issue a beach advisory, warning
  people of possible risks of swimming or close the
  beach to public swimming until further monitoring
  finds that water quality complies with applicable
  standards.

  How many beaches had notification actions?
  In 2011 of the 50 coastal beaches that Illinois
  monitored,  48 (96 percent) had at least one
  notification action (Figure 2). This is approximately
  the same as in previous years.
Figure 1. Illinois coastal counties.
Table 1.  Number of monitored and
        unmonitored coastal beaches by
        county for 2011.

County



COOK
LAKE
TOTALS
Total
Beaches
37
19
56

Monitored
37
13
50
Not
Monitored
0
6
6

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   Figure 2: Percent of beaches with one or
            more notification actions
   Figure 4: Percent of beach days open
            and safe for swimming
   Figure 3:  Duration of beach notification
             actions in 2011
                                   1-2 days
                                     91%
How many notification actions were issued and
how long did they last?
Illinois issued 326 notification actions during the
2011 swimming season. Typically Illinois lifts an
action when follow-up monitoring indicates that
water quality complies with applicable standards.
For the majority of actions (91 percent) water
quality returned to normal and beaches were
deemed safe for swimming within one or two days
(Figure 3).

What percentage of days were beaches under
a notification action?
EPA calculates the total available beach days and
the number of beach days with notification actions
to better track trends over time. Total available
beach days are determined by multiplying the
length of the beach season by the number of
beaches in the state. For 2011 EPA calculated
                                                         2011

                                                         2010

                                                         2009

                                                         2008

                                                         2007
              To the Beach )
              To the Beach)
             MTo the Beach)
              To the Beach)
              To the Beach)
90.2%

87.6%

88.5%

88.8%

83.4%
that 4,863 beach days were associated with the
swimming seasons of the 50 monitored Illinois
beaches. Illinois reported notification actions on
477 days, meaning that beaches were open and
safe for swimming about 90 percent of the time.
This improves on the trend of consistently high
percentages of open beach days at state beaches
(Figure 4).


For More Information
For information about the Illinois beach program
contact:
Justin DeWitt
Illinois Department of Public Health
Tel: 217-782-5830
e-mail: justin.dewitt@illinois.gov
For general information about beaches visit:
http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/beaches/.
For information about a specific beach visit:
http://watersgeo.epa.gov/beacon2/.

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