The color of rivers is usually determined by the sediment at the river bottom and the substances in the river (besides water). Algal blooms (usually known as red tides) can cause drastic changes in the color of river water, often turning the water a rusty crimson or dark brown.
To read more about red-tides click here:
Of course, if you believe in the Old Testament miracles, the Nile river supposedly once turned to blood.
Typically the color of a river is determined by the sediment at the bottom of the river. But in 2008 a river in China was said to have turned red due to pollution.
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