The effect of a nontoxic easily degradable substrate, glucose, on the biodegradation of toxic pollutant, phenol, was studied in batch reactors using a phenol degrading culture (Arthrobacter species). The effect of glucose on phenol degradation was determined at different glucose concentrations. The effect of different inoculum on substrate removal in a phenol and glucose mixture was also studied. Results indicated that when a mixed substrate (phenol and glucose) was used, phenol acclimated population showed an initial preference for phenol and utilised glucose after phenol removal. However phenol degradation rate was reduced in the presence of glucose. It was also observed that phenol degradation was completely inhibited when the glucose concentration exceeds 2 g/l. The substrate removal pattern changed completely when inoculum was drawn from mixed substrate acclimatised culture. The glucose utilisation started immediately and the rate of glucose utilisation was not affected by the presence of phenol. The phenol degradation also starred simultaneously. In presence of phenol only, the rate of phenol degradation for the culture acclimatised to mixed substrates was lower than that of phenol acclimatised culture. These results indicate that nontoxic substrate can affect the biodegradation of toxic pollutants is suitable and acclimatisation may be necessary for biodegradation of mixed substrate.