Western Colorado relies on the Colorado and Gunnison Rivers heavily for our water supply year-round. Just how healthy are Colorado's eight major rivers? Which one is the most polluted?

Let's learn a little more about Colorado's rivers and see if we can find out which river is healthiest, and which one is the most polluted.

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Colorado's Eight Major River Basins

The eight major river basins found in Colorado include the Arkansas River, The Colorado River, The Dolores River, The Gunnison River, The North and South Platte Rivers, The Rio Grande River, and the Yampa River. Scroll on to learn more about each river and which one is the cleanest.

Colorado's Most Polluted River

According to a report from CBS News, Colorado's most polluted river is the South Platte River which runs from Colorado's Mosquito Mountain Range all the way into Nebraska. Chemicals such as benzene, mercury, and arsenic are all found in the South Platte River.

A study back in 2010 from the EPA says more than 700,000 pounds of toxic chemicals were released into Colorado rivers that year, with 1/3 of them entering the South Platte River. 25% of the South Platte River does not meet Colorado's water quality standards.

Colorado's Cleanest River

Which one of Colorado's rivers is the cleanest? That award goes to Colorado's Yampa River which flows from the Gore Mountain Range into the Green River in Utah. Very little of the water in the Yampa is diverted elsewhere, and the water is the cleanest of any river in Colorado according to ConservationCo.org.

Which One of Colorado's Major Rivers Is the Most Polluted?

Just how healthy are Colorado's major rivers? Which Colorado River is the most polluted? We're looking at Colorado's eight major river basins to find out which ones are in good shape and which rivers need some TLC.

LOOK: What is the Longest River in Colorado?

Take a closer look at the 10 longest rivers that flow through the state of Colorado. From the Rio Grande to the San Juan River, scroll on for a look at the 10 longest rivers found in the Centennial State.

MORE: Enjoy the Beautiful Colorado River at Palisade's Riverbend Park

Walk the banks of the Colorado River at Palisade's Riverbend Park. You'll find incredible views of the river and the Grand Mesa, but you'll also have a chance to take the perfect Mount Garfield selfie on this trail.

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