A full-scale remediation facility including a detention basin and a wetland was tested for retention of heavy metals and Poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) from water drained from a motorway in The Netherlands. The facility consisted of a detention basin, a vertical-flow reed bed and a final groundwater infiltration bed. Water samples were taken of road water, detention basin influent and wetland effluent. By using automated sampling, we were able to obtain reliable concentration averages per 4-week period during 18 months. The system retained the PAHs very well, with retention efficiencies of 90-95%. While environmental standards for these substances were surpassed in the road water, this was never the case after passage through the system. For the metals the situation was more complicated. All metals studied (Cu, Zn, Pb, Cd and Ni) had concentrations frequently surpassing environmental standards in the road water. After passage through the system, most metal concentrations were lower than the standards, except for Cu and Zn. There was a dramatic effect of de-icing salts on the concentrations of Cu, Zn, Cd and Ni, in the effluent leaving the system. For Cu, the concentrations even became higher than they had ever been in the road water. It is advised to let the road water bypass the facility during de-icing periods. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.