The City of Evanston is now utilizing Rainout Line to help keep the public informed about the beaches and their swimming areas. There are a few different ways to utilize this resource:
- Sign-up for text/email alerts for any/all of the beaches
- Download the free "Rainout Line" mobile app for iPhone or Android and search "Evanston Parks & Recreation"
- Call 847-448-0034 to hear the status of each beach
- Visit this webpage for updates
Dempster St. Beach Office Weather Station
General information on beach closings
Swimming is prohibited at beaches during a closing due to bacteria, but admittance to the beach (sandy area) is still allowed. At other times, both the water and the beach areas are closed for your safety (see bullet list below)
This beach closing chart is used primarily to indicate beaches that have closed for an entire day following a high bacteria count. Although a beach may have been approved for opening at 10:30 a.m. by the Evanston Health Department, the water may be closed for swimming at any point during the day due to unsafe conditions (see section below). The website will not be updated following this type of closing unless it lasts for an extended period of time (several hours).
For safety reasons, the City of Evanston will close the water for swimming (beach area remains open) when any of the following situations occur:
- High E. coli (bacteria) level
- Unsafe conditions due to rip or lateral currents
- High winds limiting visibility due to blowing sand
- Excessive wave action
- Seiche effects (rapid change in water level due to change in barometric pressure)
- The opening of the locks in Wilmette triggers an immediate closing of all City of Evanston swimming areas for at least 24 hours
- Other health hazards (biological/chemical waste).
During the following situations, both the beach and the swimming area will be closed:
Swimming at the beaches will be prohibited after monitoring conducted by the Evanston Health Department determines that bacteria levels exceed those established in the Swimming Pool and Bathing Beach Code (235 colony forming units [cfu] of E. coli per 100 milliliters of water is the level at which closing is required).
The Recreation Division may voluntarily close swimming areas following a heavy rainfall or known incident that may have contaminated the water.
The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago website displays dates when a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) event occurs on the entire Chicago Area waterways, including the North Shore Channel. Information is updated daily and indicates when the channel is unsafe for limited contact recreation use. These activities include recreational boating (kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing) and any limited contact incident to shoreline activity, such as wading and fishing. Click here to sign up to receive e-mail notification of CSO events directly from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.