Pollution has been a significant concern for centuries with no tangible solution anywhere in sight. As countries continue to develop industrially, the environment continues to be degraded through effluents that get dumped into water bodies without any regard for life. Water bodies have been affected the most by sewage runoff, industrial chemicals, and agricultural fertilizers getting washed up and deposited into the nearest water body like rivers and lakes. Determining the location of the dirtiest water body is hard since most water bodies on the planet are now toxic and uninhabitable for life. The following, however, are some of the most polluted water bodies on earth.
Citarum River in Indonesia has more than 500 factories built along its banks with each of them dumping their waste into the river. The river is polluted that it stretches for miles with plastics and other garbage floating with the river water invisible from the top. It is easier to forage for garbage in Citarum River than fishing. It is estimated the river receives 20,000 tons of waste and 340,000 tons of wastewater on a daily basis; this has led to the destruction of 60% of the river's fish species.
Riachuela River in Argentina is considered the largest open pit toilet in the world. For decades the river has been a dumping ground for industrial and sewage waste receiving more than 350,000 tons of sewage per day. Lead levels are so high in the water that 25% of children who live close to the river have the pollutants in their bloodstreams which causes respiratory and gastrointestinal complications.
Since the 1950s, Lake Karachay in Russia has been turned into a nuclear waste dumping ground for the Mayak Nuclear Storage Facility. The lake is now the most radioactive water body on the planet, and it poses a very high risk as the nuclear wastes have seeped so deep into the ground that scientists are afraid it could reach the Arctic region and spread to other parts of the world. The radiation levels from the lake are so high that they are sufficient to administer a lethal dose to a human within an hour of exposure.
Lake Tai in China is so polluted that the water has turned green, thanks to the algae that have grown due to the availability of industrial chemicals and wastes. The stench from the lake is so strong that it can be detected for miles forcing the more than 2 million people that depend on the lake for water to stop using it entirely. There are more than 2800 factories in the region all dumping their effluents into the lake without any regard for the people or animal life in the once clean and pristine lake.
Yamuna River in India receives 3.5 billion liters of sewage daily making the river even unfit to step in. Pollution levels are so high that no fish or plant has been able to survive in the waters of Yamuna for quite a while now. The river, which is famous for Hindu rituals and supports more than 60 million people who live next to it, has been declared ecologically dead.