Beach Status and Closings

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Beach Status

There are several ways to keep informed of the beach status in Evanston:

  1. Follow COEBeach on Twitter

  2. Sign up for email or text message notifications of beach status 

Or just check the Twitter feed below:

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 Web site 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
  • Thunder
  • Fog
  • 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:

  • Lightning
  • Tornado
  • Waterspout

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.