Four physical–chemical processes were compared in terms of the efficiencies of dissolved and colloidal organic nitrogen (DON and CON) removal from the secondary effluents (SE) and reject water from full-scale biological nutrient removal activated sludge systems. Adsorption on activated carbon was most efficient and allowed removal from the SE of up to 80% and 100% of DON and CON, respectively. High efficiencies of DON removal from SE (up to 55%) were also obtained when using coagulation with iron(III) chloride and calcium hydroxide at final pH = 11.0–11.5. The efficiency of DON removal from thickening waste activated sludge (TWAS) reject water, obtained using coagulation with iron(III) chloride, was comparable with the efficiency for the SE. The efficiency of this process with regard to the sludge digester liquors (SDL) was significantly higher, i.e., 65–70% for both DON and CON. The ion exchange process with strongly acidic cation exchange resin (without pH correction) resulted in a relatively small efficiency of DON removal (<15%), and negligible efficiency of CON removal (<10%). Furthermore, ultrafiltration (0.015 μm) of SE and TWAS reject water resulted in a relatively low efficiency of DON removal (10–13% and 10–20% respectively). Ultrafiltration was found to be more effective for DON removal from SDL (41–68%).

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