Sewage, stormwater prompt swim ban at all Lake Michigan beaches


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A swim ban has been issued at all Lake Michigan beaches due to water quality, according to the Chicago Park District.

The Chicago Park District sampled water at all the beaches for E. Coli on Tuesday and are expected to have the results Wednesday.

A spokesperson for the park district says it takes 18 hours from the time the water is sampled until officials know the results.  People planning a trip to the beach should check their website before heading out.

All tests conform to US EPA standards, according to the park district spokesperson.

The hard rain that pummeled Chicago overnight forced a noxious mix of sewage and stormwater into local waterways and Lake Michigan.

Officials at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District were forced to open locks and sluice gates separating the lake from the Chicago River system after a surge of murky, debris-strewn water overloaded the city’s underground labyrinth of sewers and stormwater tunnels.

Chicago water officials typically start adding more bacteria-killing chlorine to the region’s drinking water in these situations. City officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

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The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story.


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