The effect of configuration of activated sludge systems on heavy metal toxicity was investigated. Two bench-scale completely mixed activated sludge systems were operated identically in order to determine the toxic effects of Cr(VI), Zn(II) and industrial wastewater on the activated sludge biomass. One system was operated with an aerobic selector and the other without. Batch experiments based on OECD 209 (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) were performed using a respirometer to find out potential toxicity reduction effect of an aerobic selector. The IC(50) (concentration of a chemical that exhibits 50% respiration inhibition) values of Cr(VI), Zn(II) and industrial wastewater in the activated sludge were determined. Results indicated that the heavy metals and industrial wastewater caused less inhibitory effect on the selector activated sludge system in comparison to the conventional activated sludge system. Cr(VI) was found to exert higher inhibition on both systems.