The pulp and paper industry in central Europe was for a long period one of the biggest water polluters. During the last 10 years the pollution load to the receiving waters has decreased to such an extent that a compromise between water protection and industrial development is in sight This positive achievement started with a concentration at the production in a relatively small number of mills with modern and cost effective production processes minimizing pollution discharge to the wastewater. Nearly all mills are equipped with biological wastewater treatment plants. Many mills have abandoned chlorine for bleaching, thus solving the AOX problem, some are on the way to doing this. These positive achievements are the result of a water protection and industrial development policy.