Phenolic waste water from the largest coke coking plant in Poland is treated at a full technical scale. From the very beginning it became evident that very high qualitative variations in short and long periods were to be expected. For this purpose, the biological treatment plant based on activated sludge is protected through preliminary physical-chemical treatment and the results are secured by a final chemical stage of treatment. Nevertheless, improvements in the performance of the treatment plant have been found necessary to introduce. In this work, the experience gained over the last five years is described and developed improvements were presented. 3 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.