I was reading a newspaper article about river Ganga and it said that in ancient scriptures it was mentioned that Ganga must not be polluted and clothes must be washed at a distance from her. No one was allowed to discharge that water from washed clothes into river Ganga. Is washing clothes in Ganga a sin? What is the source where it has been mentioned that what are things which must not be done on banks of river to keep it clean?
The BrahmANda-Purana prohibits the following thirteen activities in the Ganges:
saucham Achamanam sekam nirmAlyam malagharshaNam/gAtra-samvAhanam kridAm pratigraham athoratim/ anyatirtha-ratim cha eva anyatirtha-prashamshanam/vastratyAgam atha AghAtam santAram cha visheshatah//
So vastra-tyAga(leaving clothes in) and mala-gharshaNa (cleaning the dirt/soil by rubbing) in the Ganges are prohibited by the holy scriptures
The other prohivited acts are cleaning after urination/excretion (saucha), washing mouth (Achamana), pouring out/ emission/ seminal effusion (seka), throwing the remains of offering to a deity (nirmAlya), rubbing body for cleaning (gAtra-samvahana), sport (kridA), pratigraha-rati ( desire to accept gift), praising other holy places/rivers (anyatirtha-prashamsanam), Hitting(AghAta) and swimming (santAra).
Reference:Sri Sri, Ganga-Mahimamrita, Sitaramdas Omkarnath, Omkarnath Rachanavali, vol. 9, page 121