Top 10 Most Polluted River in the World

Our discussion in this article is based on environmental health with a peek at the Most Polluted Rivers in the World. It is said that most of the water body is heavily polluted and as such it endangers marine life and also humans that make use of water for the daily endeavour. The major cause of river pollution today is as a result of human influence. I know many persons might be asking What is the Most Polluted River in the World and we have deemed it fit to provide you with answers.


The situation of river pollution is raising eyebrows on most people across the world and several bodies including government of nations are taking a step to ensure that this is curbed. W have highlighted below the top 10 Most Polluted Rivers in the World.

  1. Ganges River
  2. Citarum River
  3. Yellow River
  4. Sarno River
  5. Buringanga River
  6. Marilao River
  7. Mississippi River
  8. Jordan River
  9. Matanza River
  10. Yamuna River

Most Polluted River in the World 2020.

#1. Ganges River

Location: India

The Ganges River also called “Ganga” is the known longest and biggest river in India and is iconic and revered as well as a religious site for Hindus. The water is believed to cleanse people’s sins, a belief highly regarded in Hinduism. The water is significant particularly to the over 400 million people who live around the river. Be it as it may, heavy refuse is dumped into the river and also industrial waste as well despite the water serves as the source of drinking, bathing and cooking, giving rise to many water-borne illnesses. As such, Ganges River is considered to be the Most Polluted River in the World 2020.

#2. Citarum River

Location: Indonesia

Citarum River
Citarum River

Citarum River in Indonesia is one of the largest water body in the country that runs through over 200 miles from its origin in the Wayang Mountains to its drainage in the Java Sea. The water is the longest and largest river in West Java. Citarum River is beneficial to about 200 million people who live around the water. More so, there are diverse various factories established closed to the river. This river is highly polluted from industrial waste (toxic waste) to domestic waste (refuse dumps) despite the water is used for domestic purposes. In fact, the lead pollution in the Citarum River is way over the acceptable level.

#3. Yellow River

Location: China

Yellow River
Yellow River

Still on our discussion on the Most Polluted River in the World, we move to China where the Yellow River is located. Due to the yellow sediment loess of the river which gives it the colour, it is thus called Yellow River. The river is the longest river in the whole of Asia. Due to the industrialization of China which has pronounced the country as a fast developing country, the river has been polluted with industrial waste from the various industries such as chemical factories toxic waste, and agricultural waste; also, coal mining industries release waste back to the river after using water from the same river to run its operations. Yet, the water is still been used for domestic purposes by millions of people living around the water which tends to be hazardous to their health.

#4. Sarno River

Location: Italy

Moving over to Italy where we find the Sarno River to be one of the Most Polluted River in the World as well as in the whole of Europe. The level of the water pollution due to industrial and domestic waste such as toxic waste, refuse dumps, dumplings, chemical release among other forms of pollution has caused the water to be considered as poisonous, despite the fact that the source of the water is clean and healthy. Many residents in the area are known to have liver cancer cases due to usage of the water for drinking, cooking, washing and other domestic uses.

#5. Buringanga River

Location: Bangladesh

Buringanga River is a popular river in Bangladesh and serves as an economic resource for the country and also important water used by millions of people residing around the river been the biggest water body in the country. The major source of this river pollution are chemical waste, household waste, medical waste, dead animals among others but the chief of them all is the tanning industry releasing the highest portion of chemical toxins a waste directly into the river, thereby causing a several environmental and health hazards for the people working in the industry.

#6. Marilao River

Location: Philippines

Like every other river earlier mentioned above, this river is not immune from serving as a source of water for domestic use to the millions of people living around the water. Nonetheless, the water did not escape been mentioned among the Most Polluted Rivers in the World 2020. This is so because the water is heavily laced and filled with toxic and chemical waste due to the high number of tanneries, textile factories, piggeries, gold refineries established not too distal from the river. in fact, it is reported that the dissolved oxygen, hampering aquatic life to a great degree. This has been hazardous to many residents who are using the water for daily domestic use.

#7. Mississippi River

Location: United States of America

River Mississippi is not just among the Longest Rivers in the World but it is not left out as well as one of the Most Polluted Rivers in the World. the river is very muddy and sustains a brown colour due to the continuous release of waste into the river. not just that, oil spillage into the river sometimes back also caused the water to be polluted. Chemical pollution such as benzene, mercury, arsenic and nitrogen-based fertilizer seeps into the water rather than remaining in the soil thereby affecting the aquatic life in the river. industrial and agricultural waste also contributes to water pollution.

#8. Jordan River

Location: Jordan, Israel

Jordan River is a long river in the middle east-flowing 156mi-long from its source in Mount Hermon and flows into the Dead Sea. The river has significant cultural and religious to Christians and Hebrews been water crossed by the Israelite on their journey from Egypt to Cannan and a place where Jesus’s baptism took place. Presently, the rate of toxicity has increased and travels to the water downstream. The water is polluted majorly by wastes disposal which has led to an increase in the salinity of the water. This is due to poor waste management.

#9. Matanza Riachuelo River

Location: Argentina

Matanza Riachuelo River comes in at the ninth spot and is considered to be the most polluted river in South America and the world at large. The major cause of this river’s pollution is the vast number of factories (i.e. slaughterhouses and tanneries) established close to the river. These factories often released huge tons of sewages into this river daily. This act has rendered every effort to keep this river clean futile. As a result of the release of sewage into the river, it has increased heavy metals such as mercury and lead in the river

#10. Yamuna River

Location: India

Last on our list is another river located in India, Yamuna River. the river is regarded as the second tributary of the Ganges River and also one of the Most Polluted Rivers in India. The river is surrounded by over 57 million people who depend on the river because of its highly-fertile alluvial plains along its banks. However, the presence of agricultural activities around this river has caused heavy water pollution. Also poor raw-sewage management is another factor contributing to the dirtiness and pollution of the river as well as the water salinity. The water still remains till date one of the heaviest polluted water.

Conclusion on the Most Polluted River in the World Top 10 Listing

These are the rivers considered to be the most polluted in the world looking at the level of toxic waste, chemical waste and amount of refuse dump that enter into these rivers. This shows that human activities to better its livelihood and boost productivity is actually corrupting its environment which at the long run is hazardous to human health. If the rate of hazardous substance released into these rivers is not reduced, very son there may be no more cleans and freshwater to depend on for domestic and industrial use. We belive this article has enlightened you on how deeply polluted most of the rivers around us are.

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