No. 94: Jul-Aug 1994
The Ganges is 2525 kilometers long. Along its course, 27 major towns dump 902 million liters of sewage into it each day. Added to this are all those human bodies consigned to this holy river, called the Ganga by the Indians. Despite this heavy burden of pollutants, the Ganges has for millennia been regarded as incorruptible. How can this be?
Several foreigners have recorded the effects of this river's "magical" cleansing properties:
More recently, D.S. Bhargava, an Indian environmental engineer measured the Ganges' remarkable self-cleansing properties:
"Bhargava's calculations, taken from an exhaustive three-year study of the Ganga, show that it is able to reduce BOD [biochemical oxygen demand] levels much faster than in other rivers."
Quantitatively, the Ganges seems to clean up suspended wastes 15 to 20 times faster than other rivers.
(Kalshian, Rakesh; "Ganges Has Magical Cleaning Properties," Geographic, 66:5, April 1994.)