Study: Chicago River not more dangerous than other waterways

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Even though the Chicago River is mostly wastewater discharge, the risk of gastrointestinal illness for boaters, kayakers and fishermen on the river are about the same as on other local waterways, a new college study found.

According to the study by the University of Illinois-Chicago, funded by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, boating and fishing on the Chicago River pose the same risk of gastrointestinal illness as performing those activities on other local waters — a risk that turns out to be higher than that intended for swimmers at Lake Michigan beaches.

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