Reed Beds are a natural way of treating contaminated water. The pollutants are decomposed by the actions of bacteria and other microbes living within the soil. The reeds provide the soil structure and the habitat for microbes to thrive amongst the plant roots.

We specialise in soil based reed beds which offer much better treatment capabilities than gravel based systems, and they have the added advantage that they don’t need periodic digging out and replacement like many gravel based constructed wetlands do.

Soil based reed beds are very versatile and can be used to treat a wide range of different pollutants and waste waters. They can be designed to work in different climates and to solve waste water problems of different scales. For example, small containerised systems treating waste water from a single house, to large scale systems for oil fields treating more than 50 million litres of contaminated water per day!

Not only are reed beds an environmentally friendly solution, they can be very cost effective too. Often, they can be designed to be entirely passive systems, operating by gravity with no mechanical or electrical parts. This means operational costs are minimal, and they only require basic horticultural care to ensure they continue to achieve the relevant water quality requirements.

Case Studies

Combining Heavy Metal and Sewage Filtration

In this project, we demonstrate how soil based reed beds are very versatile and can be used to treat very different types in a combined system.

This reed bed we developed in 2003 and 15 years on, its still successfully treating water.


4 Reed Beds to Treat Former Pesticide Facility

An old industrial site, used for pesticide research was converted with 4 reed beds.

Contaminated groundwater was cleaned over a 20 year period and securing the safety of rivers and sensitive areas nearby.


Award winner

Billingham reed beds were designed and built to treat mixed waste waters from ICI, formerly the largest chemical facility of its type in Europe.

The site has since changed hands and continues to be used to treat tankered liquid waste, and has also won 2 prestigious awards.


Treating 16,000 tonnes of Oily Water Daily

Oceans ESU reed beds are installed through out Sudan and South Sudan, treating all the
oil field produced water.

The first system was installed in 2003 to treat 16,000 tonnes per day of oily water.


  • Reed beds provide a green feature and benefit wildlife in a world where natural wetlands are becoming scarce

  • Soil based reed beds are cheap to operate and maintain

  • ERT Technology® cleans polluted waters by harnessing the natural power of nature

  • ERT Technology® offers enhanced treatment capabilities compared to standard constructed wetlands

  • Bacteria found in soil based reed beds are capable of breaking down many persistent organic pollutants

      • 6
      • 2012
        football pitches worth of reedbeds built
      • 13
        million reeds planted
      • 35yrs
      • 358
        million litres of water treated daily (that’s 143 Olympic swimming pools!)

Accreditations / Certificates