: How do you clean up a polluted river/large bodes of water?

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I just went through this big project with my wife, where we produced a podcast for Spokane, WA. We learnt of the big river cleanup in 1974. But I didn’t quite understand the process of how they did it. In general, how does this process work?

In: Planetary Science

3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Large scale: It doesn’t really. You just move problems downstream to the oceans.

Smaller scale: If you put more pollution in than the water can take out you get a nasty river. If you reduce/stop putting stuff other than water in the river, over time, the the water that feeds the lake or river, will wash the pollution down stream, improving the condition at that river/lake.

Anonymous 0 Comments

You don’t clean up the water already in the river, you stop new pollution from coming in, and let the river and its ecosystem recover naturally.

It takes time, especially because it’s usually impractical to stop all sources of pollution.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Sounds like Spokane removed garbage and demolished abandoned/neglected structures. In other river cleanups you’ll focus on also eliminating sources of pollution such as drain pipes from industrial buildings. And if it’s a big cleanup they will even dig up contaminated sediments from within the river or its banks and add new clean sediment.