The Most Polluted Rivers In the World

Rivers that are heavily polluted may be found all over the world, while cleanup efforts have begun in the majority of regions.

Both human waste and manufacturing runoff are common sources of pollutants found in rivers, and rivers worldwide are sensitive to these contaminants. Certain rivers across the world, on the other hand, contain larger amounts of these toxins, often to the point of tragedy.

Most Polluted Rivers In the World
Most Polluted Rivers In the World ( Image Credit: Flickr )

The Most Polluted Rivers In the World

The Sarno River, Italy

The Sarno River flows through Italy for 15 kilometers. It’s a little river that runs from Mount Sarno to the Bay of Naples. It has two significant tributaries running through it: the Solofrana River and the Cavaoila River. Despite its short length, Europe’s most polluted river is the Sarno. The Sarno is normally clean upstream, where it nourishes fish and other microscopic aquatic creatures, but this changes downstream, when it joins its tributaries, and the river begins to expose higher levels of pollution through chemical foam, which is clearly apparent at the river’s surface. It was revealed that the chemical contamination was caused by industrial and agricultural waste poured into the river.

Citarum River, Indonesia

The Citarum River, which flows over 200 miles from its headwaters in the Wayang Mountains to its estuary in the Java Sea, is one of Indonesia’s most important rivers. The river is extremely important to the Indonesian economy since it is used to irrigate thousands of acres of agricultural area as well as generate hydroelectric electricity. The Citarum, on the other hand, is well-known for being the world’s filthiest river. Trash and plastics are thrown in such large quantities in the river’s downstream parts that the water’s surface cannot be seen. Former textile manufacturers located along the riverside were a major source to the hazardous waste discovered in the river. The river has been determined to be contaminated with lead, mercury, and arsenic.

The Ganges/Ganga River, India

The Ganga River, often known as the Ganges, is the biggest and longest river in India. It is also an important Hindu religious site. The Ganga, which flows 1,569 miles from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal, provides a lifeline for about 500 million people along its banks, the most people nourished by any river on the planet. However, because of its massive population, the Ganges has become one of the world’s most polluted rivers. The most common cause of river contamination is increasing dumping of human and industrial waste.

Effects of river pollution

River pollution is harmful to both aquatic life in the river and the humans who rely on it. Some rivers, such as the Citarum, have seen their fish completely vanish, killed by a range of chemicals dumped into the rivers, but others, such as the Ganges, have seen local people swallowing mercury-laden fish and badly impacting their health.

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What is the Most Polluted River in the World?

The Sarno River, the Citarum River, the Passaic River, the Ganga River, and the Yellow River are among the world’s most polluted rivers.

The Most Polluted Rivers In the World

RankRiver NameLocation
1Sarno RiverItaly
2Citarum RiverIndonesia
3Passaic RiverUnited States
4Ganga RiverIndia
5Matanza RiverArgentina
6Buriganga RiverBangladesh
7Marilao RiverPhillipines
8Mississippi RiverUnited States
9Yellow RiverChina
10Doce RiverBrazil

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