Nature as a water filter

“How can we innovatively make water use more sustainable?” is a question we asked ourselves frequently during together with our partner in waterprojects Evides Industriewater. There, wetlands emerged as a natural tool for purifying water. Wetlands are swampy areas rich in natural vegetation - are used as a natural water filter. This purifies wastewater from the local industrial and domestic wastewater treatment plants and provides proper pretreatment for a downstream desalination step.

The way of water
The infographic below shows the path water takes. Niels Groot, Water Specialist at Dow, explains: “We use treated wastewater from the municipality of Terneuzen (top left of the infographic) and treated wastewater from Dow's own wastewater treatment plant (middle right) that goes towards the wetlands. Together with the rainwater that is collected at the Dow site (top right), we want to achieve that the biological activity in the wetlands is stabilized and also that as much nitrogen and phosphate as possible is removed from the water. We can then use a series of treatment steps (including desalination) to bring this water up to quality standards so that it can be used again in our plants. The trick with wetlands is that the water is so stable that we can then do the steps much more effectively with significantly less energy and chemicals.

Wetlands at Dow Terneuzen

Project status



More info


Do you want to join one of our events? Check out our event-calandar to see where we can meet-up. 

Listen to the Podcast with Anton van Beek

Listen to the Podcast via the link below, in which Maikel Harte talks to Anton van Beek about the sustainable ambition of Dow Terneuzen.