Its source is in the village of Naast near the municipality of Soignies. It is an indirect tributary of the Scheldt, through the Dijle and the Rupel. It joins the Dijle at Zennegat, in Battel in the north of the municipality of Mechelen, only a few hundred metres before the Dijle itself joins the Rupel.
In the centre of Brussels, the Zenne was completely covered up and major boulevards were built over top in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is still visible in the outskirts of Brussels and outside the city, though within the city it now runs mostly underneath the small ring. The Zenne was notorious for being one of Belgium's worst polluted rivers, since all effluents from the Brussels Capital Region emptied into it without treatment. In March 2007, the completion of new sewage treatment plants began to remediate this problem. However, in December 2009, the plant Brussels Nord of Acquiris was temporarily and abruptly shut down, creating a political and ecological crisis.
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