The present study demonstrates the removal of three toxic heavy metals (lead, cadmium and nickel) by the bacterial strain Arthrobacter phenanthrenivorans from polluted water. The removal efficiency of heavy metals was recorded to be highest in case of lead (79.91%), followed by nickel (47.62%) and cadmium (34.05%). Furthermore, surfactant production by A. phenanthrenivorans was optimized, which is useful for different purposes like metal and oil removal from water.