River pollution

The biggest pollutants that are contaminating our rivers can be divide into two categories: chemicals and pathogens are who you have to blame for river pollution. In this section will talk about both of them, in an attempt to educate as many people as we can about river pollution. This way each of us can learn how can we change to improve the quality of our rivers.

Pathogens are infectious agents or germs. Microorganisms such as bacterias, viruses, and fungus are consider pathogens agents and contribute to river pollution. Depending on the kind of pathogen agent that is contaminating a river, there are several health problems and diseases that can affect whoever utilizes the water from that river. Among the many agents that contaminate rivers across the United States we can mention:

Burkholderia pseudomallei, which causes meliodosis. Symptoms may include cough, skin infections, pneumonia, chest, bones and joints pain.

Salmonella, which causes illness such as typhoid fever, food-borne illnesses and paratyphoid fever.

Nonovirus, which causes gastroenteritis.

Giardia lamblia. This pathogen agent causes giardiasis in the small intestine. Among the many symptoms we can mention malaise, diarrhea, excessive gas, gastric pains, nausea and weight loss .

Cryptosporidium parvum, which causes acute diarrhea, anorexia, nausea, abdominal pain, dehydration and if left untreated, death.

Usually a high level in pathogen concentrations are due to inadequately sewage disposal and a poor manage of livestock operations and high levels of river pollution

On the other hand we have the second type of pollutants: chemicals. This kind can be subdivided into two smaller categories, which are organic and inorganic. Organic chemicals or organic compound are those that have carbon in it's molecular structure. Some organic pollutants are:

Detergents use for washing our clothes

Products use to disinfect

Wastes result of food processing (fats and grease)

Insecticides and herbicides

Petroleum and it oil based products

Industrial Solvents and other volatile organic compounds

Most of our hygiene and cosmetic products

Inorganic pollutant are those that don't have a biological origin and most don't have carbon in their molecular structure. Among the many inorganic pollutants that are contaminating our rivers we can mention:

Acidity changes cause by the wrong disposal of industrial waste


Chemical wastes


As you can see many of our daily habits are causing a huge impact in the rivers and the life that generates thanks to them. Many of this issues can be solve with the right treatment and disposal of wastes, some even at home. If you want to put and end to river pollution you can read about solutions to this worldwide problem in our how to clean rivers tab.