Abstract Several challenges with disinfection byproduct (DBP) control stem from the complexity and diversity of dissolved organic matter (DOM), which is ubiquitous in natural waters and reacts with disinfectants to form DBPs. Fluorescence parallel factor (PARAFAC) analysis and asymmetric flow-field flow fractionation (AF4) were used in combination with free chlorine DBP formation potential (DBPFP) tests to study the physicochemical DOM properties and DBP formation in raw- and alum-coagulated waters. Enhanced coagulation with alum became more effective at removing DBP-precursors as the pH decreased from 8 to 6. AF4-UV254 fractograms indicated enhanced coagulation at pH 6 preferentially removed larger DOM, whereas no preferential size removal occurred at pH 8. Fluorescence-PARAFAC analysis revealed the presence of one protein-like and three humic-like fluorophore groups; stronger linear correlations were found between chloroform and the maximum intensity (FMAX) of a humic-like fluorophore (r2 = 0.84) than with SUVA254 (r2 = 0.51). This result indicated that the fluorescence-PARAFAC approach used here was an improvement on SUVA254, i.e., fluorescence-based measurements were stronger predictors of chloroform formation.