The inorganic polyanionic clusters known as polyoxometalates (POMs) have several structural variations at the nanoscale scale. They have many uses in chemistry, materials science, medicine, and other fields. This review considers the developments in treating hazardous contaminants from wastewater using POMs-based compounds. Four main treatment methods using POM-based compounds to remove water pollutants have been developed: adsorption, photocatalytic treatment, Fenton-like treatment, and membrane separation. Moreover, we report the types of POMs, synthesis procedures, strategies performed to modify POM-based compounds, and their applications in wastewater treatment. To promote the development of these compounds for large-scale production and real-scale applications, gaps in knowledge and recent research obstacles are also pointed out. Most research on metal organic complexes (MOCs) based on POM has focused on using these compounds as catalysts, with little focus on their additional uses. The adsorption and photocatalytic efficiency of modified POM-based compounds are attributed to their enhanced contaminant removal efficiency, and recovery of certain POM-based compounds by magnetic separation is presented as a promising option for their recyclability. Among the reviewed studies, the highest adsorption capacity was 1108.9 mg/g, with a removal efficiency of 100 % for acid red dye using poly-[N,N-dimethyl-dodecyl-(4-vinylbenzyl)ammonium chloride] (PIL)-POM. The studies also indicate that the POM-based adsorbents could be effectively reused to remove pollutants and sustain their activity in 3–10 cycles. This review is believed to provide an overview of recent advancements in POM-based compounds for water and wastewater treatment, offers thorough research to anyone interested in learning more about this topic, and acts as a manual for researchers working in this area.