Hidden away in many towns and cities are underground rivers. These rivers once flowed on the surface but have been channelled through underground tunnels or in culverts for many years. As towns and cities grew in the nineteenth century many rivers were forced to flow underground because they were used as drains and sewers — they were dirty and disease ridden.
Channelling rivers underground created space for roads and buildings. For example, London has 21 underground rivers, all tributaries of the River Thames. In some cities underground rivers have been returned to the surface in a process known as ‘daylighting,’ and once on the surface they bring a number of benefits to the surrounding area.
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