The effects of raw diatomite on coagulation performance (CP) and the contents of residual aluminum (RAl) during the Pearl River water treatment with polyaluminum chloride (PAC) were investigated. Results demonstrated that the addition of raw diatomite could significantly improve the CP. The removal efficiencies (REs) of turbidity, dissolved organic carbon and UV254 could achieve 97.63%, 44.31% and 52.31%, respectively, at PAC dose of 20 mg/L and diatomite dose of 40 mg/L. Furthermore, adding appropriate dose of diatomite (less than 40 mg/L) could greatly reduce the RAl contents. The residual total aluminum and residual total dissolved aluminum both reached the lowest concentrations (0.185 mg/L and 0.06 mg/L, respectively) when the PAC dose was 15 mg/L and diatomite dose was 40 mg/L.