Rio Matanza: the most polluted river in Argentina

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Rio Matanza: the most polluted river in Argentina

The Río Matanza originates west of General Las Heras, in the province of Buenos Aires. The river is known by the name of Río Matanza from the source to the La Noria bridge, located along the Avenida General Paz, from the aforementioned point to the mouth it is called Riachuelo.

From the La Noria bridge to the mouth it marks the border between the province of Buenos Aires, on the right bank, and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires. It flows into the Rio de la Plata between the Barrio porteño de La Boca and the city of Dock Sud, located in the partido of Avellaneda.

The Riachuelo crosses a densely urbanized and populated area and suffers serious pollution problems due to the numerous industrial discharges that are discharged into its waters. Thanks to a budget of 718 million dollars covered by the World Bank and the contribution of innovative engineering techniques, the Argentine government has begun to clean up the river, transforming the environment into a healthy and pleasant place to live.

Rio Matanza: the most polluted river in Argentina

The importance of the project cannot be underestimated: the river and the surrounding area, known as Cuenca Matanza-Riachuelo or Matanza-Riachuelo basin, hosts 23% of the residents of the Buenos Aires metropolitan area and 9.16 % of the country's total population.

The plant used for the treatment of dirty water, Dock Sud, will be equipped with an innovative 360 ​​million euro hydraulic tunnel that will pass under the river mouth to reach the Plate River. Once completed, the tunnel will be among the longest of its kind in the world (12 kilometers).

The works for its construction, entrusted to Salini Impregilo, began in 2014 and are proceeding in compliance with a program that foresees a 74.5-month process. There are about 15,000 industries that release harmful substances in the Matanza-Riachuelo basin, the river that crosses Buenos Aires.

A 2008 study found that the soil on the banks of the river contained traces of zinc, lead, copper, nickel and chromium, all in above-average values. The area, where about 60% of the 20,000 people living near the river reside, has been declared uninhabitable due to the high risk of respiratory and intestinal diseases.