The effectiveness of free chlorine for the inactivation of fungi present in settled surface water was tested. In addition, free chlorine inactivation rate constants of Cladosporium tenuissimum, Cladosporium cladosporioides, Phoma glomerata, Aspergillus terreus, Aspergillus fumigatus, Penicillium griseofuluum, and Penicillium citrinum that were found to occur in different source waters were determined in different water matrices (laboratory grade water and settled water). The effect of using different disinfectant concentrations (1 and 3 mg/l), temperatures (21 and 4 degrees C), and pH levels (6 and 7) was addressed. The sensitivity degree of different fungi isolates to chlorine disinfection varied among different genera with some species showing a higher resistance to disinfection and others expected to be more prone to protection from inactivation by the water matrix components. When the disinfection efficiency measured in terms of the chlorine concentration and contact time (Ct) values needed to achieve 99% inactivation were compared with the Ct values reported as being able to achieve the same degree of inactivation of other microorganisms, fungi were found to be more resistant to chlorine inactivation than bacteria and viruses and less resistant than Cryptosporidium oocysts. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.