The formation of THMs and HAAs after chlorination of bulk water fractions of low-SUVA (specific UV absorbance) surface waters was investigated, and the applicability of SUVA and differential UV spectroscopy for monitoring THMs and HAAs in such waters was evaluated. Samples from two reservoirs were fractionated employing XAD-8, XAD-4, MIEX (R) resin and granular activated carbon adsorption. A total of 83 bulk water NOM fractions (i.e., the remaining solutions after contact with the adsorbent or resin at various doses) were obtained and chlorinated. The majority of NOM in both waters was found to have average molecular weights < 2000 Da and SUVA values < 2 L/mg C m, indicating that NOM in the tested waters contained dominantly lower molecular weight fractions and low aromaticity. SUVA did not correlate well with the formation and speciation of THMs and HAAs, suggesting that SUVA does not capture the reactive sites on NOM moieties responsible for DBP formation in low-SUVA waters. Similarly, no correlations were found among THMs/ HAAs formations and differential UV spectroscopy, indicating the formation of DBPs independent of destruction in UV-absorbing sites. In all fractions, concentrations of THMs were higher than those of HAAs. Chlorinated DBP species were dominant over brominated ones due to low bromide concentrations. The results overall suggested that low- or non-UV-absorbing NOM moieties play important roles in the formation of DBPs in waters with low SUVA, low DOC and low bromide levels. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.