I’ve recently been exposed to the term “trash island” due to some rather serious littering and pollution in the Jordan River in Northern Utah. It took me down a rabbit hole of what pollution can do to a community when such a major water source is contaminated.

So this begs the question, what would happen if the Virgin River in Southern Utah suffered from similar pollution?

According to a study done on water pollution from Harvard, the list of negative side effects from the contamination is rather extensive.

The study said, “Water pollutants may cause disease or act as poisons. Bacteria and parasites in poorly treated sewage may enter drinking water supplies and cause digestive problems such as cholera and diarrhea.”

You might be thinking, “that’s bad and all, but I’m not drinking water from the river.” Even if your drinking water doesn’t come from a river, it does serve as drinking water for the flora and fauna in the area. This causes a chain reaction that doesn’t stop until something…or someone…dies.

The study said, “Hazardous Chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides from industries, farms, homes and golf courses can cause acute toxicity and immediate death, or chronic toxicity that can lead to neurological problems or cancers.”

If you do digest any polluted water, the process your body goes through will be anything but pleasant.

The study said, “Many water pollutants enter our bodies when we use water for drinking and food preparation. The pollutants enter the digestive tract. From there, they can reach other organs in the body and cause various illnesses. Chemicals come in contact with the skin from washing clothes, or from swimming in polluted water and may lead to skin irritations.”

Unless we all want to deal with these potentially disastrous side effects, then we absolutely must take care of our local water sources by cleaning up after ourselves, and keep the rivers clear of litter and pollution.

You can find the full study here.

Love your rivers people!


The Abandoned Schlitterbahn Waterpark in Kansas City

Schlitterbahn's fourth waterpark, Schlitterbahn Kansas City, opened on July 15, 2009, on land that originally was home to the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds near Interstate 434. Grand plans for the waterpark included a resort with 1,000 hotel rooms, a sporting goods store, and an area of shops and restaurants.

Between the economy, a child's death on the Verrückt waterslide, and the coronavirus pandemic the waterpark never matched the success of Schlitterbahn's other waterparks in Texas. After the 2018 season, the park was never re-opened and was demolished for redevelopment about two years later.

Exploring the Abandoned visited the still-standing park in November 2020 and shot a video which you can see on Youtube.

Gallery Credit: Rob Creighton

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