This study investigated the effect of stream segregation on the biodegradation characteristics of wastewaters generated by fur-suede processing. It was conducted on a plant located in an organized industrial district in Turkey. A detailed in-plant analysis of the process profile and the resulting pollution profile in terms of significant parameters indicated the characteristics of a strong wastewater with a maximum total COD of 4285 mg L(-1), despite the excessive wastewater generation of 205 m(3) (ton skin)(-1). Respirometric analysis by model calibration yielded slow biodegradation kinetics and showed that around 50% of the particulate organics were utilized at a rate similar to that of endogenous respiration. A similar analysis on the segregated wastewater streams suggested that biodegradation of the plant effluent is controlled largely by the initial washing/pickling operations. The effect of other effluent streams was not significant due to their relatively low contribution to the overall organic load. The respirometric tests showed that the biodegradation kinetics of the joint treatment plant influent of the district were substantially improved and exhibited typical levels reported for tannery wastewater, so that the inhibitory impact was suppressed to a great extent by dilution and mixing with effluents of the other plants. The chemical treatment step in the joint treatment plant removed the majority of the particulate organics so that 80% of the available COD was utilized in the oxygen uptake rate (OUR) test, a ratio quite compatible with the biodegradable COD fractions of tannery wastewater. Consequently, process kinetics and especially the hydrolysis rate appeared to be significantly improved.