The cleanest and most polluted rivers in the world

The most severe causes of river pollution are industrial sewage discharges, agricultural pollution, municipal sewage, improper waste disposal and oil spills. According to WHO, no less than 2 billion people drink water contaminated with faeces. The Ganges River, sacred to Hindus, is considered the most polluted river in the world. Second place is Indonesian Citarum – its lead content is over 1,000 times higher than the US Environmental Protection Agency standard for drinking water. The Bangladeshi Buriganga takes third place, and the fourth and fifth places are taken by the Yellow River in China and the American Mississippi. The Italian Sarno, Danube and Rhine are considered the most polluted in Europe.

The cleanest river is the Tara, which, cutting through the mountainous areas of Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, creates the deepest canyon in Europe, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Attempts to build dams there have been suspended due to public opposition. Ireland’s Caragh and England’s Thames are also considered the cleanest in the world, although the latter was so polluted 60 years ago that it was considered biologically dead.

Clearwater Mills LCC, The Ocean Cleanup and AlphaMERS clean rivers and reservoirs. The former uses a floating and garbage-collecting device called “Mr. Trash Wheel.” In addition to taking care of rivers, the Ocean Cleanup deals with, among others, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and India’s AlphaMERS produces stainless steel mesh river barriers that float in the water.

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