Rivers Around The World That Is Forced To Move Underground

Many rivers around the world naturally run beneath the ground, but others have been forced underground due to flooding, pollution, location, and diseases. Some of these rivers were dammed, covered, and diverted through concrete or brick sewage systems, and cities were built over top.

These once-thriving rivers fell victim to the concrete jungle, but some have successfully been daylighted in recent years. Many people don’t even realize that rivers are flowing beneath their cities.

Neglinnaya River

                                               Photo credit: themoscowtimes.com

Flowing under Red Square, Alexandrovsky Sad, and the Metropol Hotel in Moscow is the Neglinnaya River, also known as Neglinka, Neglinna, and Neglimna. The natural river once flowed openly from northern Moscow to the south across the center of the city.

The river was first used as a moat around the Kremlin to help stop foreign invasions, but it was mostly unsuccessful. People living in the area began to see frequent flooding, and the Muscovites knew that something needed to be done with the river.

In 1792, they constructed a new canal parallel to the Neglinnaya River and diverted the water into the new tunnel. The old riverbed was covered by the builders. After the Fire of Moscow in 1812, the canal became so polluted that it was covered with a vault.

There have been several tunnels added, built, or expanded since the first one was constructed. The river now discharges into the Moskva River through two tunnels near Bolshoy Kamenny Bridge and Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge.

The Senne

                                              Photo credit: brusselslife.be

One of the defining moments in the history of Brussels was the covering of the Senne. The city was built along the Senne, and it crossed Brussels from one end to the other.

Many industries began to move into the city, and the river quickly turned into an open-air sewer that overflowed during most rains. The water became heavily polluted and produced a strong foul odor across Brussels. Constant flooding and a cholera epidemic were the main reasons for the Senne’s demise.

After city officials decided that it was time to vault the river, the construction lasted only four years. The Senne was replaced by canals, and buildings were soon built over the buried river. The underground waterway was later diverted, and by 1976, the former water tunnels were converted for use by the Brussels subway system.

In 2000, the first modern wastewater treatment plant came into service to help the Senne regain its original role. A second treatment plant was up and running by 2007.

The River Fleet