The Chicago rake fights bacteria
In 2008, the district tested modified beachcombing equipment. The district worked with the manufacturer of the Surf Rake beachcomber, H. Barber and Sons, to develop the “Chicago rake” as an alternative attachment on their standard equipment. The new attachment digs deeper into the sand, leaving cultivated grooves that allow sunlight and air to hit deeper levels of sand and decrease the amount of bacteria that can grow in the sand and leach into recreational swimming water.
The district will continue to implement a seagull-harassment program from dawn until dusk each summer at two of the city’s beaches. Other steps the district is planning include:
Conducting a beach sanitary survey, to further research all of the possible point and non-point sources of E. coli at individual beaches within the district.
Implementing mitigation and remediation efforts to minimize bacterial sources that most affect individual beaches.
Using a predictive modeling system that will measure possible bacterial indicators and their influence on the beach as well as providing real-time test results for beachgoers.