Kamniška Bistrica from the springs to the confluence with the Sava River
The Kamniška Bistrica river originates in karst springs at an altitude of 623 meters in the steep part of the Kamniška Bistrica valley. The torrent-like river is 32.7 km long and flows into the Sava River as a left tributary at an altitude of 265 m above sea level.
The water from the springs under the fallen rocks, which collect water from the Kamniški Dedec (1576 meters above sea level) and the torrential ravine of Repov kota, flows into a small lake dammed with a concrete threshold. As a right tributary, a torrent bed joins after a hundred meters, which collects water from Rep's angle and from below the Žmavcari and other torrents from the amphitheater of the Grintovci. The fact that torrents can have a very violent erosion power is evidenced by the numerous collapsed blocks and rocks in the riverbed itself. Gulls carry eroded material that is gradually transported downstream.
A kilometer downstream is a narrow narrow, riverbed of the Kamniška Bistrica river called Veliki and Mali Predoselj. At the beginning of the 20th century, Predoselj was known as a waterfall in Kamniška Bistrica. The waterfall fell over accumulated gravel that had piled up behind wedged logs until in 1953, after more than 60 years, in 1953, a violent torrent swept away the deposited material from the troughs. Above Veliki and Mali Predaslje, there are two undercut rocks wedged like natural bridges. A path leads across the Veliki Predoslje troughs along a wooden footbridge to the bottom of the troughs.
The left, side valley of Kamniška Bistrica is the valley of the torrent Kamniška Bela, which flows into Kamniška Bistrica as a left tributary.
Below the hamlet of Kopišča, in Kamniška Bistrica, the Dolski graben stream flows out as a left tributary in a 15-meter-high waterfall. The right tributaries Grdi potok and Korošica and the left tributary Konjski potok follow in the valley of Kamniška Bistica. Many smaller karst springs flow into the river bed from under the karst area of the Kamnik-Savinjske Alps.
After 7.5 km of flow, at the exit from the valley of Kamniška Bistrica, the river gets its first major tributary, the Črna, which flows into Kamniška Bistrica as a left tributary at Stahovica, and the Bistričica stream as a right tributary, which also collects water from by the waterfals known Korošak stream.
The first settlements, especially the central settlement of Kamnik and the industry along the river in the Kamnik-Domžale axis, were a source of heavy pollution of the river until a few decades ago. Even in the 70s of the 20th century, the river in Kamnik was already blood red because of the former slaughterhouse, which was located below the Old Castle.
A major source of pollution was the Količevo paper mill and waste water from the former Lek, which flowed into Kamniška Bistrica via the Pšata relief canal dug in the early 60s of the 20th century. Even today, legal and illegal pollution of the river continues. Some of the surrounding farmers have official permission to discharge waste water into underground reservoirs directly next to the river, from where it flows directly into the river bed. Due to the collapse of the industry, the pollution of Kamniška Bistrica has decreased and the water looks clear and clean, so especially in the summer many people are fooled and take a bath in the river or let their dog pets refresh themselves in the cold river, ... without bathers were aware that only a few meters from them, slurry was being poured into the river bed - completely legal. At Študa there is a central sewage treatment plant that purifies waste municipal water from the higher-lying municipalities of Domžale and Kamnik. Pollution from industrial plants along the river is more "subversive", as unauthorized waste water is discharged at night or when the water level is high.
The bed of the Kamniška Bistrica river from the settlement of Nožice to the settlement of Škrjančevo in the municipality of Domžale: if you look carefully at the banks, you can see the introduction of waste water from nearby settlements. A look into the riverbed shows "enriched" vegetation in these places, supported by nutrients from wastewater. The Kamniška Bistrica river is a torrential watercourse, so to prevent erosion, thresholds were built to moderate the erosive power of the watercourse. The banks of the river are protected in the greater part of the riverbed to prevent natural spillage across the floodplain.
The major tributaries of Kamniška Bistrica are Rača (left tributary – Podrečje), Pšata (right tributary – Beričevo).
A characteristic feature of Kamniška Bistrica are the numerous mills, which once powered many mills and sawmills. About 200 km of drainage canals and mills were laid along the river along the 33 km long riverbed, of which about 60 km are still active today.
Near Podgrad is the confluence of three rivers: Ljubljanica, Sava and Kamniške Bistrica. Here about 2000 years ago, the Romans built a fortress (Sava Fluvia); in the same place then. Besnica stream flowed into the Sava river. In the 18th century, the Sava and Ljubljanica were regulated due to the navigation of large ships through inland waters, so the confluence was moved to Zalog (it is mentioned in the chronicles by Janez Vajkard Valvasor).