The paper deals with the effect of wastewater, plant design and operation in relation to biological nitrogen and phosphorus removal and the possibilities to model the processes. Two Bio-P pilot plants were operated for 2.5 years in parallel receiving identical wastewater. The plants had SRT of 4 and 21 days, the latter had nitrification and denitrification. The plant with 4 days SRT had much more variable biomass characteristics, than the one with the high SRT. The internal storage compounds, PHA, were affected significantly by the concentration of fatty acids or other easily degradable organics in the wastewater, and less by the plant lay-out. The phosphorus removal is mainly dependent on availability in the wastewater of fatty acids but also by the suspended solids in the effluent, which is higher in the plant with nitrification-denitrification, probably due to a higher SVI or denitrification in the settler. The addition of glucose to the influent seems to have an effect on the performance of the plants similar to that of acetic acid. In spite of great load variations over time to the pilot plants and the different operational modes, the study of population dynamics showed less significant variations with time which has importance in relation to modelling. The overall conclusion of the comparison between the two plants is that the biological phosphorus removal efficiency under practical operating conditions is affected by the SRT in the plant and the wastewater composition. Thus great care should be taken when extrapolating results from one type of plant to another. Indirectly the experiments confirm that results from lab-experiments with artificial wastewater are difficult to extrapolate through modelling to real life wastewater and conditions. The 2.5 years time series can be valuable in verification of models for Nitrogen and Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal.

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