Gone are the days when bathing in rivers and lakes was safe and fun. We are increasingly looking into the water – is there no chemical divorce, is there anything strange floating around?
Swimming in such water bodies means at least a bad smell, dirt, and even the risk of contracting unusual diseases, even to death.
And places like Lake Karachay or the Indian Ganges are generally world leaders for their pollution. Unfortunately, this list is constantly expanding. About the dirty water reservoirs in the world, we’ll talk below.
On the Indonesian island of Java flows the dirtiest river in the world. Its length is only 300 kilometers, but on its shores there are more than 500 plants, many of which are textile. All of them merge their waste into the Citarum. There are no points for garbage collection, just like toilets in the modern form. But just 20 years ago it was a virgin clean river that served people living on its shores. Tsitarum gave food to numerous canals that irrigated the surrounding fields, people caught fish here, and there was food for birds. Water was even taken for domestic use. Today, due to garbage emissions from nine million people and hundreds of factories, there are places on the river where the surface is not visible at all. About the fish and there can be no question – now only plastic bottles are caught here. Although diving into the turbid waters of the Citarum and dangerous for human health, people are still swimming here. Fishermen began to catch trash from the water, it is more profitable than the previous fishing. Garbage collectors earn 1-2 dollars a day, but this is fraught with the risk of the disease. Dirty water goes to the rice fields, where it absorbs into the soil. But the river is still a source of water for drinking and domestic needs. The decline was the result of the rapid growth of industry in this region in the 80’s. The negative effect will be transferred further, because Tsitarum is one of the largest rivers feeding the Sahulong Lake. There the French built the largest hydroelectric power station in Western Java. Experts believe that garbage will soon become so much that the fullness of the river will decrease. As a result, the generator of the hydroelectric power station will cease to produce full power, which will lead to a shortage of electricity for the plants. Maybe, at least it will allow the river to start breathing again. Great North American lakes.
On the border between Canada and the United States are huge lakes – Michigan, Erie, Huron, Upper and Ontario. But today they are quite dirty ponds, ahead of all the rest on the continent. Initially, lakes are a natural treasure, there is not only a lot of fresh water, but also a rich animal world. But man could not save the Great Lakes from typical environmental problems. The situation in them deteriorated sharply due to neighboring chemical plants, metallurgy, oil refineries. These industrial facilities supply the lake with toxins, which makes the water a real poison soup. The struggle of the governments of the USA and Canada for the purity of the lakes has so far been unsuccessful. The largest fresh lake on the planet, the Upper, has already changed its temperature regime. This leads to a change in the direction of the wind and currents, which will change the appearance of a unique natural object.
The Chinese river is the third longest in the world after the Nile and the Amazon and the longest in Asia with an indicator of 6300 kilometers. But in the WWF ranking, it firmly ranks first, only on such a contentious criterion as the dirtiest river in the world. The fact is that 17 thousand Chinese cities on the banks of the Yangtze do not have a purification system. That’s why all waste is dumped in a giant river. But for the largest megacities of the country – Shanghai, Wuhan and Nanjing, the Yangtze is the only source of water. That is why the state of this river for China itself is an actual problem. On the banks of the river, about 500 million people live, it contains 40% of the country’s water reserves. The authorities themselves say that the water quality is generally good. But the amount of contaminated water in the Yangtze is 34 billion tons.But according to officials this is a little about a trillion tons of annual flow. And every year this figure is increased by 2 percent. 400 thousand chemical plants, 5 large steel complexes and 7 oil refineries work on the banks of the river. In addition, about 300 thousand tons of such dangerous cargoes are transported daily along the river, such as oil, liquid gas, fuel oil, gasoline.
This is an American lake located in the state of New York, near Syracuse. In the US, a natural reservoir is designated as an extremely dangerous place. But at the end of the XIX century along the coastline was built many resorts. But the industrial revolution and the growth of cities led to a massive discharge of dirty water here, which led to the degradation of the lake. Today, there are abundant nitrates, phosphates, mercury and dangerous bacteria. In 1901 the authorities banned the collection of years from Onondaga, and in 1940 they forbade swimming here. In 1970, mercury contamination led to the prohibition of fishing. The law adopted in 1973 and clean water and the closure of large industrial pollutants in 1986, as well as the installation of purification systems, did not help either. Only now, the fish gradually return to the lake, the content of chemicals in the water has decreased. But it is still far from complete victory.
This river is the dirtiest in Tasmania. And the cause of this phenomenon was a copper mine, which began to work in the late XIX century next to Queenstown. For decades, millions of tons of waste have been dumped into the water, and the smoke from the pipes caused acid rain in this area. This water also drained into the King River. Until 1995, about 1.5 million tons of sulphides were annually dumped in the river. Even the closure of the mine did not change the situation – after all, heavy waste is at the very bottom of King River. In total, a man dumped about 100 million tons of waste in the river.
This pond is located in eastern China, and its banks sheltered about 3,000 plants. The lake is not only large, but also one of the dirtiest. Today, the authorities spend millions of dollars to save the reservoir. It is necessary to do a lot to completely remove all industrial waste and sediments from sewage. There was a real panic when the algae-parasites covered the surface of the lake with a thick layer. The water intake from there immediately ceased. Because of water plants, the circulation of oxygen was difficult, which led to the extinction of living inhabitants. The stop of water intake led to the fact that the city of Wuxi with a population of 4.5 million people began to experience a problem with drinking water. Thus, the development of industry led to a natural catastrophe. The Chinese are optimistic that the problem of dirty water in the lake will be solved in 8-10 years due to a specially created purification plant.
The famous Chinese Yellow River is the second largest in the country with an indicator of 5464 kilometers. The yellow color of its waters is associated with deposits. But today the color of the water has already become brown, and sometimes red. All the fault – the chemicals that are discharged into the river neighboring plants. The constant installation of dams and the change in the flow of the Yellow River leads to its drying on some stretches. And the rapidly growing Chinese cities only aggravate the situation. In 2008, a report was officially published stating that serious pollution made a third of the river in general unsuitable for agricultural or industrial use. Every year, the Yellow River discharges 4.3 billion tons of waste, with the share of industry – 70%, and households – 23%. This is two times more than was discharged into the river in the 80’s and exceeds the capacity of the river to independently restore the balance. Even economic damage from such pollution is estimated – up to 15 billion yuan annually. Water of the Yellow River is actively used by agriculture, which takes up to 90% of all used water. As a result, the health of farmers is under threat, and even more is spent on filtering.
Access to this unique water body is at once three countries – Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. As a result, disputes are also about who should take care of the lake. The reservoir was without a master and although there are rules for local residents and guests, no one observes them. Someone washes the car here, and neighboring settlements and businesses quietly discharge sewage. And this despite the fact that in the lake they bathe and fish. Meanwhile, the situation with water pollution is so serious that contact with it can cause cholera, diarrhea and severe skin diseases. Algae are rapidly multiplying in the lake, about half of the fish population has already disappeared.
Many call this river in the central part of Italy not only the dirtiest in the country, but in general in Europe. Sarno passes through Pompeii and carries its waters to the Gulf of Naples. This includes chemical fertilizers from fields, urban wastewater. Measures taken by the authorities do not give a result. But Sarno’s waters are still used for irrigation. In addition, the river often spills, which further exacerbates the ecological situation in the surrounding lands.
The main river of North America flows through 10 US states. Initially, the valley of the river, covered with a thick layer of silty sediments, was a fertile place. Since the moment the Europeans came here, only three hundred years have passed. Now the largest water artery of the continent is poisoned by human activities. Until recently, the river itself cleared its waters, but industrial wastewater and agricultural activities significantly undermined the health of the Mississippi. Today the river carries toxic sewage, it contains millions of cubic meters of waste and harmful bacteria. Chlorine-containing hydrocarbons enter the river from the atmosphere. Oxides of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon, as well as industrial waste products, household chemicals, pesticides are abundantly present in the waters of the Mississippi. Once there, they settle to the bottom, mix with silt, becoming part of the fish’s diet. It is not accidental that fishing is prohibited in many places in many places. Below Minneapolis in Mississippi, the waters of the “Big Dirty” – Missouri are also poured in. In the lower reaches, the river is damaged by petrochemical plants. As a result, in Louisiana you can see huge oil spots on the river. In the last major city on Mississippi, New Orleans, in the 70-80s a leap of oncological diseases was noted. Drinking raw water is strictly not recommended. And the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico in general appears a real “zone of death.” Not only that it is here that all the garbage gets, so because of it there is also a low concentration of oxygen. This makes it impossible for aquatic organisms to live here.
In the twentieth century, a new type of pollution appeared – radioactive. A classic example of such inhuman treatment of nature is Lake Karachay in the Chelyabinsk region, Russia. On the banks of the reservoir, since 1948, the Mayak Combine began operating, which processed radioactive materials. Since 1951, this facility has been used for the storage of spent liquid waste not the river Techa, as before, but the lake Karachay. At present, about 120 million curies of such radioactive materials as cesium and strontium have accumulated there. Over time, it was decided to fall asleep completely, which was started in 1986, but has not been completed. Today, the Karachai coast is almost the most dangerous place in the world. It is believed that a one-hour stay here is capable of killing a person. True, with the backfilling of the lake the problem will not disappear completely, because the groundwater will continue to be infected.
The main Indian river is the third in the world for high water content. It has been considered sacred for Hindus since ancient times, pilgrimages are made to it, but at the same time on the banks of the Ganges they perform cremations and perform ritual ablutions. Today the river is considered one of the dirtiest rivers in the world.But the health and life of more than 500 million people living in its basin depend on the waters of the Ganges. Starting from the upper reaches, the river becomes dirty because of overpopulated cities and drains of numerous enterprises. In addition, the Ganges is also seasonally poured, collecting all the impurities and wastes of human life. Even bathing in the river, not to mention drinking, provokes various infectious diseases. For example, a site near the city of Varanasi contains 120 times more fecal enterobacteria than allowed. It is actually not a river, but a brown court of excrement and drains. In this sacred place, the deceased are cremated, and many of the deceased and generally simply thrown into the river. Every year from the bathing alone in the Ganges and subsequent diseases, 1.5-3 million people, mostly children, die. State plans for the construction of sewage treatment plants failed. It is also good that the river has long-known abilities for self-cleaning, simply not allowing to multiply dangerous bacteria above a certain level.