Project Description

This project is supported by a grant from the US EPA as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The Chicago Park District is using the latest technology to protect the health of the millions of swimmers that visit their 24 beaches each summer. In collaboration with USGS scientists, water quality instruments and weather stations have been installed at five Chicago beaches to develop a system of predicting bacteria concentrations in real time. Currently, the Park District tests the swimming water five days a week for bacteria concentrations, but sample results are not available until 18 hours later —after water conditions may have changed. With these instruments, water and weather measurements, such as temperature, sunlight, water clarity, and wave height, will be used to predict when bacteria concentrations will be higher than advisable for safe swimming.

At Foster, Montrose, Oak Street, 63rd Street, and Calumet Beaches, water quality instruments have been installed that collect continuous measurements of wave height, turbidity (water clarity), water temperature, and lake level. Additionally, weather stations have been installed at Foster, Oak Street and Calumet beaches to record wind conditions, sunlight, rainfall, and temperature. Hourly readings are automatically communicated by cell phone to this website, where USGS scientists can download the data for developing a predictive model for bacteria concentrations. The first year of data collection will be used for model development. The Park District hopes to begin using the models to make beach management decisions as soon as 2012.

The use of predictive models has been encouraged by the US EPA as an alternate, and perhaps more effective, beach monitoring technique. USGS has calculated models for numerous beaches around the Great Lakes, but Chicago is the first to initiate development on such a large scale.

Directions for viewing data:
To view the most recent data, click on data tab at top of page. Select parameters and beaches desired, and click “go.” To view these and previous data, click “table” at the top of the display. Adjust time period using data inputs in left column.
To view data in graph form, click on graph tab at top of page. Select parameters and beaches desired, and click “go.” Adjust time period using data inputs in left column.

 

Calumet Beach
at 09/03/13 4:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

9.4

V

WATER TEMP

23.20

C

TURBIDITY

3.63

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.201

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.174

m

WAVE PERIOD

6

sec

 

63rd Street Weather Station
at 04/19/14 10:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

14.8

V

SOLAR RADIATION

638

W/m2

WIND DIRECTION

64

Deg

WIND SPEED

3.8

m/s

MAX WIND SPEED

4.3

m/s

AIR TEMP

4.06

C

HUMIDITY

74

%

BAROMETRIC PRESSURE

754.4

mmHg

RAINFALL

0.00

cm

 

63rd Street Beach
at 09/18/13 10:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

11.0

V

WATER TEMP

18.90

C

TURBIDITY

7.56

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.517

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.140

m

WAVE PERIOD

4

sec

 

Oak Street Weather Station
at 04/19/14 10:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

14.4

V

SOLAR RADIATION

565

W/m2

WIND DIRECTION

132

Deg

WIND SPEED

2.7

m/s

MAX WIND SPEED

3.2

m/s

AIR TEMP

4.00

C

HUMIDITY

75

%

BAROMETRIC PRESSURE

754.6

mmHg

RAINFALL

0.00

cm

 

Oak Street Beach
at 09/04/11 10:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

11.8

V

WATER TEMP

22.50

C

TURBIDITY

7.87

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.683

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.300

m

WAVE PERIOD

5

sec

 

Foster Weather Station
at 04/19/14 10:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

15.2

V

SOLAR RADIATION

616

W/m2

WIND DIRECTION

90

Deg

WIND SPEED

2.5

m/s

MAX WIND SPEED

2.8

m/s

AIR TEMP

3.89

C

HUMIDITY

78

%

BAROMETRIC PRESSURE

754.4

mmHg

RAINFALL

0.00

cm

 

Foster Beach
at 09/14/11 1:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

8.1

V

at 09/08/11 9:00PM

WATER TEMP

18.40

C

TURBIDITY

191.46

NTU

at 09/14/11 1:00PM

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

-------

WAVE HEIGHT

-9.000

m

WAVE PERIOD

-9

sec

 

Montrose Beach
at 08/30/13 8:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

9.4

V

WATER TEMP

20.30

C

TURBIDITY

1.18

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

0.891

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.080

m

WAVE PERIOD

3

sec

 

Osterman Beach
at 08/31/13 11:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

9.4

V

WATER TEMP

21.50

C

TURBIDITY

3.51

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.538

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.231

m

WAVE PERIOD

4

sec

 

Ohio Street Beach
at 09/03/13 3:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

9.4

V

WATER TEMP

21.90

C

TURBIDITY

4.97

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.039

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.241

m

WAVE PERIOD

7

sec

 

Model2012
at 09/24/12 4:00PM

Calumet LEVEL

-1,001.0

63rd Street LEVEL

-1,001.0

Oak Street LEVEL

-1,001.0

Foster LEVEL

-1,001.0

Montrose LEVEL

-1,001.0

 

Rainbow Beach
at 09/02/13 1:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

7.8

V

at 08/28/13 6:00AM

WATER TEMP

18.20

C

TURBIDITY

0.97

NTU

at 09/02/13 1:00PM

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

-100,010.000

m

WAVE HEIGHT

-9.000

m

WAVE PERIOD

-9

sec

 

Leone Beach
at 05/16/13 4:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

12.6

V

at 09/01/12 6:00AM

WATER TEMP

22.00

C

TURBIDITY

9.50

NTU

at 05/16/13 4:00PM

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

-------

WAVE HEIGHT

-12.000

m

WAVE PERIOD

-12

sec

 

Model2013
at 10/04/13 7:00AM

Calumet LEVEL

-1,001.0

63rd Street LEVEL

-1,001.0

Oak Street LEVEL

-1,001.0

Foster LEVEL

-1,001.0

Montrose LEVEL

-1,001.0

Osterman LEVEL

-1,001.0

Rainbow LEVEL

-1,001.0

Leone LEVEL

-1,001.0

Ohio LEVEL

-1,001.0

Limitation & Data Disclaimer

Uncertainty and potential for error can be associated with environmental monitoring data. Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of the information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety or the conduct of business that involves substantial monetary or operational consequences.

No warranty, express or implied, is given as to the accuracy, reliability, utility or completeness of the data hosted on this datacenter, and this organization shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of the data described or information contained on these pages.