The river, which originates in the province of Buenos Aires, is subjected to an input of hazardous waste from an estimated 15,000 companies in the vicinity. According to a 2008 investigation, the soil along the banks included amounts of zinc, lead, copper, nickel, and chromium that above legal limits. The water itself contained high levels of ammonia, arsenic, and fluoride.
He said that the water quality was poor because there were many industries in the area that dumped their waste into it. This contaminated the water which people then used for various activities such as washing or drinking. He added that although there were efforts being made to clean up the river, there was still much work to be done.
You can learn more about this and other rivers in our collection of articles on the most polluted places on Earth.
Chemical waste products from industrial processes are sometimes accidentally discharged into rivers. Examples of such pollutants include cyanide, zinc, lead, copper, cadmium, and mercury. These substances may enter the water in such high concentrations that fish and other animals are killed immediately. Other times, chemical wastes leach out of landfills or dump sites and contaminate groundwater. This pollution can then make its way into lakes and streams during rainstorms or when the ground melts during hot summers.
Many rivers suffer from pollution caused by industry and agriculture. The Tiber River in Italy is widely known for being severely polluted by chemicals and heavy metals. In fact, it is classified as highly contaminated by pesticides. The Douro River in Portugal has similar levels of contamination with pesticides. Heavy metals also exist in many river waters at levels high enough to be harmful if consumed by humans or animals. For example, there are currently more than 400 million people living within 10 miles of a major river, so they are at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals in river water.
Pollution comes in many forms. It can be organic, such as feces from animals that have been fed up-stream grain crops (a common practice in China), or inorganic, such as acid mine drainage from old mining sites. There are several types of pollution that affect rivers today, including agricultural runoff, domestic sewage, industrial wastewater, and atmospheric dust.
For example, the Marilao River, which flows through Bulacan Province and into Manila Bay, was named one of the world's ten most polluted rivers. The river is tainted with heavy metals and chemicals derived from tanneries, gold refineries, landfills, and textile manufacturers. In fact, it is so polluted that no fish can live in it.
Other highly contaminated rivers in the Philippines include the Pasig River in Metro Manila and other major cities; the Cagayan River, which runs through several provinces; and the Rio Grande de Mindanao, which supplies water to several cities and municipalities on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Air pollution is also a very serious issue in the Philippines. Many areas lack adequate sewage treatment facilities, leading to contamination of water sources. Additionally, many vehicles in the country use fuel made from crude oil, which is then burned in outdoor kitchens called jeepneys. This practice causes severe air pollution.
There are several government agencies that work to reduce pollution. The National Pollution Control Authority regulates industries that emit pollutants into the environment. The agency also conducts research on new technologies for reducing emissions and provides education programs about environmental issues to local governments.
In addition to governmental agencies, many private companies produce environmentally friendly products. For example, Intel uses solar-powered desalination plants to provide fresh water to its computer chip manufacturing facilities.
The river has been heavily polluted by industry and sewage upstream, as well as run-off from farms in its lower sections. The main source of contamination is thought to be heavy metal runoff from industrial areas along the Leeds/Liverpool canal system.
Since 1998, there have been efforts made to clean up the Alt, with some success. However, it remains severely polluted, and is not recommended for use for recreational purposes or as a water supply.
Yes. Since the early 1990s, there have been plans drawn up for the complete redevelopment of an area known as The Point, which lies at the end of the Alt's route through Liverpool. The site is home to a large car park, which would be removed during the redesigning of the road system. It also contains two large reservoirs, which would be filled in using part of their capacity for open space. Finally, a section of the riverbank near to where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean would be restored, making it possible to enjoy a walk or run along the waterfront without worrying about getting wet feet.