Fishing and swimming in freshwater lakes used to be fun and safe. But with some of the rivers and lakes in the world becoming more polluted as time goes by, today and tomorrow’s generations are unlikely to enjoy what they have to offer.
Most polluted rivers and lakes in the world
Located between Dzerzhinsk and Nizhny Novgorod, what used to be a freshwater lake has now become a hazardous body of water that is aptly named Back Hole. Close to the eastern industrial zone of Dzerzhinsk, it’s not a surprise that it has become a dump site for industrial waste.
It is believed that 300,000 cubic metres of a variety of hazardous substances are dumped in the lake, turning it into a health nightmare. The lake is now surrounded by barbed wire and living near it poses a health risk people can’t ignore.
The third largest river in the world and the most sacred river in Hinduism has now become one of the filthiest. After all, this is where 400 million people living near it dump their waste. Corpses are also thrown into the river by people who can’t afford to have their deceased loved ones cremated.
Despite the polluted state of the river, many Hindus still drink its water. People nearby also use the river’s water to cook, drink, and for bathing.
Owen Tarn and Basin Lake in Tasmania
Due to mining activities in Tasmania’s Rosebery and Queenstown, six of its lakes show high levels of metal contamination, including the World Heritage Area.
Among the six lakes studied, Owen Tarn and Basin Lake are highly affected due to their proximity to the Queenstown mine. According to researchers, the level of lead contamination is high. Further study is recommended to identify if people should be eating fish from these lakes.
Found in China, what was once a famous attraction due to its yellow sediment known as loess that causes a change in the water’s colour, the Yellow River has become more problematic than attractive. It has become so polluted due to the toxic waste dumped into the river that the water is unfit for agricultural use. This has caused a significant impact on western China’s ecosystems. Instead of yellow, the river’s colour is anything but.
Another body of freshwater in China that is as good as dead. Lake Tai’s water has become green because of an overgrowth of algae that feeds on the industrial chemicals and wastes dumped into the lake by the more than 2,800 factories.
Millions of people who depend on the lake for water have stopped using it completely. The stench of the lake is also detectable for miles away.
Used as a dumping site for nuclear waste for the Mayak Nuclear Storage Facility since the 1950s, this lake in Russia is not only one of the world’s most polluted but also the most radioactive body of water.
Because radioactive materials have seeped into the ground, scientists fear that its negative impact can spread to other parts of the world, including the Arctic region. The lake’s radiation levels are so high that an hour of exposure will be lethal for a human being.
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