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 08/28/14 2:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

9.8

V

WATER TEMP

23.80

C

TURBIDITY

2.88

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.515

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.241

m

WAVE PERIOD

5

sec

 

63rd Street Weather Station
at 10/18/14 10:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

11.3

V

SOLAR RADIATION

2

W/m2

WIND DIRECTION

192

Deg

WIND SPEED

0.1

m/s

MAX WIND SPEED

0.2

m/s

AIR TEMP

21.00

C

HUMIDITY

33

%

BAROMETRIC PRESSURE

748.0

mmHg

RAINFALL

0.00

cm

 

63rd Street Beach
at 08/04/14 8:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

5.3

V

WATER TEMP

21.90

C

TURBIDITY

7.46

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

-------

WAVE HEIGHT

-------

WAVE PERIOD

-------

 

Oak Street Weather Station
at 11/28/14 10:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

13.2

V

SOLAR RADIATION

68

W/m2

at 10/15/14 12:00PM

WIND DIRECTION

271

Deg

WIND SPEED

3.2

m/s

MAX WIND SPEED

3.9

m/s

AIR TEMP

11.06

C

HUMIDITY

88

%

BAROMETRIC PRESSURE

738.9

mmHg

RAINFALL

0.00

cm

 

Foster Weather Station
at 11/28/14 11:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

14.8

V

SOLAR RADIATION

191

W/m2

WIND DIRECTION

167

Deg

WIND SPEED

3.9

m/s

MAX WIND SPEED

4.2

m/s

AIR TEMP

-3.50

C

HUMIDITY

61

%

BAROMETRIC PRESSURE

748.8

mmHg

RAINFALL

0.00

cm

 

Montrose Beach
at 09/02/14 9:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

9.4

V

WATER TEMP

17.70

C

TURBIDITY

0.12

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.683

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.110

m

WAVE PERIOD

3

sec

 

Osterman Beach
at 08/30/14 10:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

9.4

V

WATER TEMP

21.60

C

TURBIDITY

0.36

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.295

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.100

m

WAVE PERIOD

10

sec

 

Ohio Street Beach
at 09/02/14 3:00AM

BATTERY LIFE

8.4

V

WATER TEMP

21.60

C

TURBIDITY

16.05

NTU

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.748

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.073

m

WAVE PERIOD

5

sec

 

Rainbow Beach
at 07/25/14 11:00PM

BATTERY LIFE

9.5

V

at 07/23/14 2:00AM

WATER TEMP

13.20

C

TURBIDITY

3.43

NTU

at 07/25/14 11:00PM

TRANSDUCER DEPTH

1.645

m

WAVE HEIGHT

0.096

m

WAVE PERIOD

9

sec

 

Model2014
at 09/28/14 8:00AM

Calumet LEVEL

51.6

Calumet PROB

0.145

63rd Street LEVEL

71.8

63rd Street PROB

0.210

Oak Street LEVEL

56.4

Oak Street PROB

0.091

Foster LEVEL

364.6

Foster PROB

0.638

Montrose LEVEL

283.1

Montrose PROB

0.555

Osterman LEVEL

-2,000.0

Osterman PROB

-1.000

Rainbow LEVEL

85.2

Rainbow PROB

0.217

Leone LEVEL

-2,000.0

Leone PROB

-1.000

Ohio LEVEL

16.8

Ohio PROB

0.012

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.