BACKGROUND: The study focused on the biodegradation of pretreated olive mill wastewater (OMW) properly diluted in and mixed with a biodegradable substrate and/or domestic sewage stream. It utilized the permeate of a chemically conditioned two-stage ultrafiltration/nanofiltration system with COD of 5700mgL(-1) and a total phenol content of 100mgL(-1). Peptone mixture with similar characteristics to domestic sewage was adopted as the biodegradable synthetic substrate. The study relied on two sets of microbial culture; one acclimated to peptone and the other to a mixture of peptone and domestic sewage. Respirometric analyses were conducted on pretreated OMW diluted in the selected substrate using corresponding biomass seeding.