In the Orbal oxidation ditch, denitrification is primarily accomplished in the outer channel. However, the detailed characteristics of the flow field and dissolved oxygen (DO) distribution in the outer channel are not well understood. Therefore, in this study, the flow velocity and DO concentration in the outer channel of an Orbal oxidation ditch system in a wastewater treatment plant in Beijing (China) were monitored under actual operation conditions. The flow field and DO concentration distributions were analyzed by computed fluid dynamic modeling. In situ monitoring and modeling both showed that the flow velocity was heterogeneous in the outer channel. As a result, the DO was also heterogeneously distributed in the outer channel, with concentration gradients occurring along the flow direction as well as in the cross-section. This heterogeneous DO distribution created many anoxic and aerobic zones, which may have facilitated simultaneous nitrification-denitrification in the channel. These findings may provide supporting information for rational optimization of the performance of the Orbal oxidation ditch.