Sarno (river)

The Sarno, known as Sarnus to the Romans, is a stream that passes through Pompeii to the south of the Italian city of Naples.[3] It is considered the most polluted river in Europe.[4] It flows about 24 kilometres (15 mi) from the base of Mt. Sarno to the Bay of Naples collecting water from the Solofrana and Cavaiola tributaries during the course of its flow.

Affresco romano - Pompei - Casa dei triclini - triclinio c fiume sarno.JPG
Personification of Sarno in Pompei
Physical characteristics
 • locationAbove Sarno
 • elevation30 m (98 ft)
MouthTyrrhenian Sea
 • location
Bay of Naples, near Pompeii
 • coordinates
40°43′43″N 14°28′09″E / 40.7285°N 14.4692°E / 40.7285; 14.4692Coordinates: 40°43′43″N 14°28′09″E / 40.7285°N 14.4692°E / 40.7285; 14.4692
Length24 km (15 mi)[1]
Basin size715 km2 (276 sq mi)[2]
 • average10 m3/s (350 cu ft/s) at Scafati[1]

It is still partially used for irrigation, as well as the transportation of goods and fishing. It is part of the Sarno river basin, which covers about 715 square kilometres (276 sq mi).[2][5]

The Sarno is one the most polluted rivers in Europe, due to agricultural waste and insufficiently treated industrial waste water.[6][2]

There are about 500 small industrial units in the area which still emit pollute. Water treatment plants have been installed, however, they do not work to full capacity. The mouth of the river continues to make bathing in the sea impossible, despite numerous protests.

The plain at the mouth of the river was the site of the Battle of the Sarno, fought in 1460.


  1. ^ a b Tommaso De Pippo, Carlo Donadio, Marco Guida, Carmela Petrosino: The case of Sarno River (Southern Italy): effects of geomorphology on the environmental impacts. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int, Mai 2006 May, 13(3), S. 184-91, doi: 10.1065/espr2005.08.287
  2. ^ a b c P. Montuori, P. Lama, S. Aurino, D. Naviglio, M. Triassi: Metals loads into the Mediterranean Sea: estimate of Sarno River: inputs and ecological risk. Ecotoxicology, 2013, 22, S. 295–307, DOI 10.1007/s10646-012-1026-9
  3. ^ Purcell, N., R. Talbert, S. Gillies, T. Elliott, J. Becker. "Places: 433102 (Sarnus (river))". Pleiades. Retrieved March 21, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ Water Pollution Facts
  5. ^ Albanese, S; Iavazzo, P; Adamo, P; Lima, A; De Vivo, B (2013). "Assessment of the environmental conditions of the Sarno river basin (south Italy): a stream sediment approach". Environ Geochem Health. 35 (3): 283–97. doi:10.1007/s10653-012-9483-x. PMID 23053925. S2CID 3427960.
  6. ^ Peter Greenberg, Don't Go There! The Travel Detective's Essential Guide to the Must-Miss Places of the World. St Martins Press, 2008, S. 27–28

External linksEdit

SOURCE: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Bethesda, MD, USA