This paper reports the photocatalytic disinfection of water contaminated by a mixture of Escherichia coli and Bacillus sp. as well as that of wastewater containing a larger microbial community. The photocatalytic reactions were carried out in a coaxial photocatalytic reactor called CAPHORE, using TiO2 P-25 of Degussa. E. coli is more sensitive than Bacillus sp. to photocatalytic treatment. Bacterial inactivation was dependent on organic matter and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration. Of the bacterial community present in partially treated wastewater, E. coli appears to be more sensitive to the treatment than Enterococcus sp., coliforms (other than E. coli), and Gram-negative (other than coliforms). After photocatalytic treatment, no bacterial recovery of previous groups was observed for 24 It in the dark. However a very low bacterial inactivation rate was observed for the whole bacterial population present in wastewater and detected by non-selective media. The effective disinfection time (EDT), the time necessary for total inactivation of bacteria without re-growth in a subsequent dark period referenced at 24 h (or 48 h), was reached only for Enterococcus sp., and coliform groups. EDT24 was not reached for the whole Population. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.