- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Swimming season is starting in Illinois and the state has been licensing public pools and beaches.

The Illinois Department of Public Health is in charge of the regulations under the Illinois Swimming Facility Act. There are 952 city-owned swimming pools in Illinois and that number goes up every year, the (Champaign) News-Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1dt2KkX).

The agency keeps an online database of the facilities it licenses. The database is updated daily to reflect license or inspection changes.

Public pools and beaches are inspected at least once a year. The department has six regional offices in charge of the inspections. They are in Champaign, Edwardsville, Marion, Peoria Rockford and Springfield. There also are nine local health departments that handle inspections as an IDPH agent.

State law has a list of specific health and safety violation that require a swimming pool or beach to close. Facilities are required to post current licenses, not inspection reports. The reports are available under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Many public pool managers say the facilities aren’t profitable. Last summer the pool in Urbana lost more than $110,000.

“I don’t think that any aquatic facility is a money-making venture,” said Leslie Radice, aquatic manager for the Urbana Park District. “It’s more of a public service.”

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Online: https://1.usa.gov/1Et8dNN and https://bit.ly/1AtKe5T

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Information from: The News-Gazette, https://www.news-gazette.com

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