The major purpose of this study was to develop a simple procedure to describe the kinetics of biodegradation of natural organic matter (NOM) in drinking water and to use this procedure to evaluate changes in the concentration of biodegradable organic matter during ozonation and biotreatment. The proposed approach quantitatively describes the formation and removal of rapidly and slowly biodegradable fractions of NOM. This study showed that, depending on source water, ozonation of NOM may result in either minimal formation of biodegradable organic carbon (BDOC), or the formation of predominantly rapidly biodegradable NOM, or in the formation of both rapidly and slowly biodegradable NOM. The kinetic data obtained in this study suggest that while conventional biofiltration processes are capable of removing the rapidly biodegradable fraction, slowly biodegradable organic matter would remain in the filter effluent and may cause bacterial regrowth in the distribution system. An addition of a small amount of easily biodegradable carbon ("stimulated" biodegradation) to ozonated water appears to be effective for the removal of slowly biodegradable organic matter.