The aim of this research was to better understand chemical pre-treatment of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) for subsequent ultraviolet (UV) disinfection. Approximately 200 jar tests were completed. Alum (Al2(S04)3·12H2O) resulted in a higher UV light transmission (UVT), and equivalent total suspended solids (TSS) removal, than ferric chloride (FeCl3). An alum dose of 20 mg/L increased the UVT of the raw CSO from 30 to 60% after settling. The addition of 100 mg/L of alum maximized UVT reaching approximately 85%. Flocculation did not increase UVT. However, it did improve the removal of TSS. Cationic polymers worked quickly compared with metal coagulants, but only reached a UVT of 60%. A high positive charge density on the polymer improved the removal of turbidity when compared with low charge, but did not affect UVT. If the goal is to maximise UVT, a very high alum dose may be preferred. If the goal is to minimize coagulant dose with moderate UV performance, cationic polymer at approximately 3 mg/L is recommended.