Lake Michigan water levels are down about 17 inches since June 2012.
The water levels in Lake Michigan are down more than five feet since 1997 and the low lake levels could represent significant launching hazards for boaters as well swimmers along the North Shore, Glencoe News reported. At Winnetka's Elder Lane Park beach, the swimming boundaries are currently only at waist level and moving swimmers further out could put swimmers in higher traffic boating areas, Glencoe News reported.
Bans are in effect until tests indicate bacteria levels are low.
A "precautionary swim ban" has been put into effect along Lake Michigan beaches Saturday following an historic overnight rainfall, according to WGN TV. The ban has been issued because The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District has opened locks to reverse the flow of the Chicago River. As a result, storm water "mixed with sewage may be released into Lake Michigan," the report states. Meanwhile, "the Chicago Park District will sample the water, twice daily, until they get the safe and appropriate results need to lift the swim ban." If tests show low levels of bacteria, then the ban will be lifted. Read WGN's full story. Check back with Patch for more updates.