The main sources of pollution are the various anthropogenic activities common all over the world. Centres of population inevitably generate discharges of organic matter, heavy metals, hydrocarbons, and toxic chemicals. These waste products of human and industrial activities concentrate in the rivers draining into the Caspian Sea to create BOD loadings in excess of the potential for natural degradation, and often compounded by additional input from off-shore oil production installations. Apart from such more or less obvious point sources, there are also other, more diffuse, sources of pollution such as run of from agricultural land (containing fertilizers and pesticides), leaching from landfills, contaminated sites and others.
The table shows the overall pollution load to the sea from the main sources investigated to date.
Total pollution load to the Caspian Sea