The aim of this study was to investigate the performance of a tertiary treatment system for irrigation reuse of secondary urban effluents. The tertiary treatment units (including coagulation-flocculation-disinfection) were evaluated using a pilot-scale plant (0.24 m(3) h(-1) of capacity) located in the wastewater treatment plant of Bursa in Turkey. The results showed that the highest removal efficiencies using coagulation, flocculation and disinfection of suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand, turbidity and total coliform were determined to be 64%, 39%, 81% and 5-log reduction, respectively. Additionally, the concentration of heavy metals was below the national and international standards. The results from the tertiary treatment of urban effluent suggest that it can be used as a viable water resource for irrigation. Crown Copyright (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.