New Offers One-Stop Source For River, Beach Info

Folks interested in enjoying the Chicago River system and the city's beaches now have a one-stop website covering ways to have safe water fun.
, launched by the non-profit Friends of the Chicago River just in time for the summer season, covers:

Water quality
Where to swim
Where to fish
Where to hike
Where to canoe and paddle

Although the Chicago River system is cleaner than ever before, a number of significant water quality threats still remain. Chicago and some of its older suburbs have combined sewer systems that convey rainwater and sewage in the same pipes. Heavy rain events can overwhelm this system, flushing a mix of storm water and sewage directly into the Chicago River, and-in extreme cases-back into Lake Michigan.

One of the key features of is a safety video designed to help people enjoy area waterways, including good hygiene practices. For water quality data, links users to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Chicago Park District sites. allows people to sign up to be alerted when these combined sewer overflows trigger an Overflow Action Day. The public can help during heavy rain events by:

Taking shorter showers
Avoiding doing laundry
Flushing less
Making sure downspouts are not feeding into the storm sewer system

Check out today.