In this study, photocatalytic (PC) and photoelectrocatalytic (PEC) treatment methods were comparatively investigated as a possible means of removing humic acid (HA) following absorbance at 254 nm (UV254) and total organic carbon (TOC) analysis. The enhanced HA degradation rates were obtained in the PEC system over the conventional PC process under acidic, neutral and alkaline conditions. Preliminary and binary experiments were performed to determine the selectivity of the photoanode in terms of HA and chloride oxidation. TOC, chlorine and photocurrent parameters proved that HA was selectively removed before chlorine generation. The inhibitory effect of carbonate ions on the performance of photoanode was also studied under different pH values. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.