The most challenging issue for existing large WWTPs (>100,000 PE) in Poland will be achievement of the new effluent standards for total nitrogen. Consequently, reliable and accurate information concerning the dimensioning of anoxic compartments is necessary. This study focused on validating to what extent the denitrification rates determined from batch tests were comparable with the rates calculated based on a mass balance over a full-scale activated sludge reactor. The experiments were conducted at two large WWTPs in northern Poland: “Wschod” in Gdansk and “Debogorze” in Gdynia. Two types of batch tests were used to determine the denitrification capability of activated sludge. Lower nitrate utilization rates observed during the full-scale experiments could potentially result from the local disturbances such as nitrate limitation (“Wschod” WWTP) or oxygen penetration to the anoxic zone (“Debogorze” WWTP). These factors should be taken into consideration during the design phase of the anoxic compartments.

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