Photo Gallery: From Open Sewer to Nature Oasis
The Emscher River flows over 80 kilometers (50 miles) through the old coalfields of the Ruhr Valley, the industrial rust belt in western Germany. It's a gigantic open sewer -- the largest in Europe. Slaughterhouses and steel mills discharge their offal and refuse here, and the river is a depository for heavy metals and feces.
SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany