This study summarizes the findings and lessons learned from the start up and operation of a large wastewater treatment plant in warm climate under modified conditions. The treatment works comprise of a newly constructed sewage treatment plant located in the city of Dubai, U.A.E with an ultimate capacity of 300 Ml/d. The plant can be reviewed in three major parts; (i) liquid stream, (ii) sludge stream and (iii) odor control stream all having the latest state of the art technology and related equipments. The challenge in starting up the plant was related to the fact that only 20% of the flow was available in the form of hauled sewage to be hauled from septic tanks located in various parts of the city and also from the nearby industry which was uncontrollable. Furthermore, some parts of the plant were not ready to be commissioned on the day of the planned startup not to mention that effluent irrigation main was not complete to receive the treated sewage effluent (TSE) from the plant. A comprehensive commissioning plan was implemented and followed during the startup which was tailored according to the actual conditions. The plant commissioning was conducted in a phased sequence to cater for the expected and unexpected changes related to the inlet conditions. Commissioning and operation of the plant was carried for over 18 months with success considering the challenging and difficult conditions.

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