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IJsseloog, or the “Eye of IJssel”, is an enormous circular pit in the middle of Ketelmeer lake in the mouth of the river IJssel, in the province of Flevoland, the Netherlands. The pit is one kilometer across and 45 meters deep and functions as a storage tank for heavily contaminated slit that is still being dredged from the bottom of the lake.

Between 1950 and 1990, lake Ketelmeer became heavily polluted from toxic industrial run-offs carried by Rhine and IJssel river from industries and factories located upstream. These pollutants were released into the river by industries not only in Holland but in Germany, Switzerland and France as well. The polluted sediments settled to the bottom of Ketelmeer in a thick layer of contaminated sludge. It was feared that the pollutants could contaminate the ground water or spread to the connected fresh water lake of IJsselmeer, which is the largest lake in the Netherlands and a major source of fresh water for both agriculture and drinking. The IJsselmeer also offers a number of opportunities for recreational activities such as yacht sailing.

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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