It’s no secret the environment doesn’t get treated as well as it should. Littering and oil pollution are both factors that contribute to the destruction of rivers. Even though there are hundreds of people who make efforts to clean up these messes, it’s difficult to erase them. If you don’t think the environment is as corrupted as everyone says, here are a few of the most polluted rivers in the world that’ll change your mind.

Yellow River In China

The Yellow River is the second longest river in China, and one of the most highly polluted by human and industrial waste. The water has been deemed unsafe for use of any kind; it’s not suitable to be used for drinking, for industrial use, or for agriculture. Back in 2006, the river even turned a reddish color, due to a strange substance that came out of a sewer and entered the famous river.

Cuyahoga River In America

The Cuyahoga River is located in Ohio and feeds into Lake Erie. In the past, there weren’t strict regulations for sewer and waste disposal, which caused the river to become polluted with litter. The situation was so bad the river actually caught on fire when sparks from a passing train hit the “oil slick debris” floating in the river. Even though there are currently stricter regulations to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, and the level of pollution is much lower than it was in the past, it still remains one of the most polluted rivers in the world.

Mississippi River In America

The Mississippi River is one of the most polluted rivers in the United States. Back in 2010, nearly 125 million pounds of toxic material was released into the river. Then, in 2013, a towboat sank and dumped nearly 31,500 gallons of oil into the river. In 2015, another boat ended up spilling about 420 gallons of oil into the same river.

Citarum River In Indonesia

Over 200 textile factories line the Citarum river, which is why the water is so filthy. The pollution is so bad the majority of the water is unable to be seen. It is covered by thousands of pieces of plastic, cardboard, and other debris. Even though it is one of the dirtiest rivers in the world, there are still families who must use it to clean, cook, and even drink.

Yamuna River In India

The Yamuna River is one of the country’s most sacred rivers. However, it has 50 times more biochemical oxygen demand than the allowed limit. This is due to the open sewage drains, soil erosion, and dumping of litter. Fifty-eight percent of New Delhi dumps their waste into the water, making it the most polluted sacred river in all of India.

Sarno River In Italy

The Sarno River is the most polluted river in all of Italy. Not only is industrial waste dumped into the water, but there are also frequent mudslides and flooding. The banks of the river have even broken, which caused the pollution to spill over to other areas, creating a health risk for anyone who lives nearby.

There will never be more water than we have right now. We need to take steps, even on an individual level, to guard this precious resource.


What are you going to do to help the environment today?



Holly Riordan
Holly Riordan
Holly is an aspiring sci-fi writer who currently writes lifestyle articles for All Women Stalk and News Cult. She's a fan of comedy movies, ridiculous puns, and is the owner of a pup named Ferris (last name Bueller).