Five natural waters with a broad range of DOC concentrations were fractionated using various coal- and wood-based granular activated carbons (GAC) and alum coagulation. Adsorption and alum coagulation fractionated NOM solutions by preferentially removing components having high specific ultraviolet absorbance (SUVA). UV absorbing fractions of NOM were found to be the major contributors to DBP formation. SUVA appears to be an accurate predictor of reactivity with chlorine in terms of DBP yield; however, it was also found that low-SUVA components of NOM have higher bromine incorporation. SUVA has promise as a parameter for on-line monitoring and control of DBP formation in practical applications; however, the effects of bromide concentration may also need to be considered. Understanding how reactivity is correlated to SUVA may allow utilities to optimize the degree of treatment required to comply with DBP regulations. The reactive components that require removal, and the degree of treatment necessary to accomplish this removal, may be directly obtained from the relationship between SUVA removal and the degree of treatment (e.g., alum dose).