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The Most Polluted River in North America

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The New River originates in Mexico and flows into the United States through Calexico, California. The river eventually meets up with the Salton Sea, a large inland sea. The New River is the most polluted river in the U.S. Residents living in towns near the river – like Calexico and Holtville – have complained about the ‘rotten egg’ odor for many years. Various reports showed that high phosphorous levels in the river create the smell. Although no evidence shows breathing in the fumes is harmful, there are warnings posted everywhere that contact with the water is dangerous.

At the Colorado River Citizens Forum meeting held in El Centro on June 7, 2011, people discussed extensive work being done to decrease the pollutants in the New River.