Publish Date
The 2022 beach season runs through Monday, September 5, 2022. 
The 2022 beach season runs through Monday, September 5, 2022. 
Photo: Chicago Park District

DAILY BEACHES ADVISORIES AVAILABLE AT CHICAGOPARKDISTRICT.COM/BEACHES

The Chicago Park District is excited to announce the City’s 22 beaches will open this Friday, May 27th for the 2022 season. The 2022 beach season runs through Monday, September 5, 2022. 

“We’re excited to welcome everyone back to Chicago’s lakefront beaches, a backdrop to many summer experiences in Chicago,” said Chicago Park District General Superintendent and CEO Rosa Escareño. “We encourage all beach goers to prepare for their visit by learning basic water safety skills to respond accordingly in case of an emergency, and urge them to obey the flag system and only enter the water when lifeguards are present.” 

WATER SAFETY

As part of the Park District’s ongoing water safety campaign to help families stay safe while enjoying the lakefront this summer, the District kicked off this year’s water safety trainings on May 24th at Chicago beaches.  An additional three trainings at three different beaches will be offered every Wednesday through June 22nd at 5:30 pm. For the complete water safety trainings schedule, please click here.  In addition to water safety trainings, the Chicago Park District has installed life preserver equipment along the lakefront and refreshed signage in areas where swimming is not allowed.  

FLAG NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

The Chicago Park District will continue to utilize the flag notification system and interactive web page to display swim status, water quality, weather data, location information, amenities, directions and historical details about each of the 22 lakefront beach locations and Humboldt Park Beach. 

The following flag notification system tells patrons the current status of beaches: 

•    Green – Swimming is permitted. Weather conditions are fair and water quality is good.

•    Yellow – Swimming is permitted, but caution is advised. Weather conditions are unpredictable or bacteria levels are higher than the water quality criteria set by EPA for notifying the public.

•    Red – Swimming is not permitted. Weather conditions are dangerous or water quality conditions are dangerous.

Additional signage that reads “Swim Only When Lifeguards Are On Duty” is installed on every lifeguard perch to reinforce swim guidelines. Flag poles are also placed at all swimming beaches. Lifeguards will prominently post a red flag at the end of the night to remind patrons that swimming is no longer permitted. That flag will remain in place throughout the night until the start of the next lifeguard shift. 

WATER QUALITY 

The Park District ensures quality conditions for residents and visitors who frequent the beaches and lakefront by working round the clock to keep 26- miles of lakefront clean during the beach season. Keeping beaches clean also helps to prevent water quality swim advisories. Patrons can help the Park District maintain our beaches free of waste by placing all garbage and recycling in their appropriate containers.

As in past years, the Park District will partner with University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health using the USEPA’s rapid test method at all beaches. This method uses DNA detection of Enterococci instead of culturing live E. coli bacteria cells, and cuts the time required for test results from 18 to 24 hours to only 3 to 4 hours. 

Water quality conditions can change dramatically from day to day, therefore, faster results provide more accurate information for the public and better protection of public health. Beaches will be sampled seven days a week and information will be reported to the public via Chicago Park District website and a color-coded flag system at the beaches. Sampling of bacteria levels in the water is performed following criteria established by USEPA. Enterococci is an indicator of the presence of pathogens that could make you sick. The US EPA recommends notifying the public when Enterococci bacteria levels are above 1000 CCE.

It should be noted that maintenance needs to beaches and recreational activities change based on cyclical lake levels. Juneway, Rogers, Howard and Fargo Beaches will remain inaccessible for swimming this season due to erosion.  Swimmers may access the water at nearby Marion Mahony Griffin Beach. Patrons are encouraged to visit the Park District website for updates.

Lakefront concessionaires will also return this year beginning Memorial Day weekend. The Chicago Park District is pleased to welcome back lakefront concessions for the 2022 season featuring a variety of both indoor and outdoor dining experiences, water recreational activities, and retail options. 

In addition to beaches, other park facilities and opportunities are available. the Lakefront Trail remains open for pedestrian and recreational use. The Chicago Park District recently switched on the Buckingham Fountain, which will remain on through mid-October, and looks forward to summer programming, including day camp. Registration is underway. Visit chicagoparkdistrict.com to view and register for summer programs, which kick off the week of June 20. 

BEACH GUIDELINES
Patrons are asked to observe the following beach rules: 

•    Obey lifeguards and swim only when lifeguards are present. 
•    No glass, alcohol or smoking on the beach. 
•    Properly dispose of food, diapers and other refuse. Do not feed birds. 
•    Dogs are only allowed in designated dog areas. 
•    Please put swim diapers on small children. 
•    Grilling is only allowed in designated areas and coals should be disposed in the red hot metal containers. 
•    Keep accessible beach walks clear. No bicycling, skateboarding or rollerblading is permitted in these areas. 
•    Access to the Lake Michigan Water Trail for sports such as kayaking, canoeing and other non-motorized board or paddle sports is allowed at 12th Street Beach. For more information, go to the rules page and download information on Lake Michigan water trails. 
•    Kiteboarding is not permitted at 12th Street Beach; kiteboarding is ONLY permitted at Montrose Beach. 
•    Only Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) are permitted. Children wearing PFDs should have an adult with them in the water.
•    Swimming is permitted and lifeguards are on duty at all beaches from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., unless otherwise posted.

Beach goers can also access information on swim status by calling the Chicago Park District Beach Hotline at 312-74-BEACH, checking www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/beaches or following us on Facebook and Twitter for the swim status at each beach. 

Admission to Chicago’s beaches is free. For a list of locations or for more information, visit the Park District website at www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/beaches.