During the last decade, nanofiltration (NT) made a breakthrough in drinking water production for the removal of pollutants. The combination of new standards for drinking water quality and the steady improvement of the nanofiltration process have led to new insights, possible applications and new projects on lab-scale, pilot scale and industrial scale. This paper offers an overview of the applications in the drinking water industry that have already been realised or that are suggested on the basis of lab-scale research. Applications can be found in the treatment of surface water as well as groundwater. The possibility of using NF for the removal of hardness, natural organic material (NOM), micropollutants such as pesticides and VOCs, viruses and bacteria, salinity, nitrates, and arsenic will be discussed. Some of these applications have proven to be reliable and can be considered as known techniques; other applications are still studied on laboratory scale. Modelling is difficult due to effects of fouling and interaction between different components. The current insight in the separation mechanisms will be briefly discussed. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.