|This paper summarises the performance of minewater-treatment schemes which are operated under the Coal Authority's National Minewater Treatment Programme. Commonly-used design criteria and performance indicators are briefly discussed, and the performance of wetland systems which are operated by the Coal Authority is reviewed. Most schemes for which data are available remove more than 90% iron, and average area-adjusted iron-removal rates range from 1.5 to 5.5 g Fe/m(2). d. These values, which are based on performance calculations, can be distorted by several factors, including the practice of maximising wetland areas to make best use of available land. Removal rates are limited by influent iron loadings, and area-adjusted iron-removal rates should be used with caution when assessing wetland performance. Sizing criteria for all types of treatment system might be refined if more detailed data become available.