The oxidation of the antiviral drug acyclovir (ACV) and its main biotransformation product carboxy-acyclovir (carboxy-ACV) by ozone was investigated. Both compounds have recently been detected in surface water, and carboxy-ACV has also been detected in drinking water. The experiments revealed a strong pH dependence of the oxidation of ACV and carboxy-ACV with reaction rate constants increasing by 4 orders of magnitude between the protonated, positively charged form (k(ox,PH(+)), ∼2.5 × 10(2) M(-1) s(-1)) and the deprotonated, negatively charged form (k(ox,P(-)), 3.4 × 10(6) M(-1) s(-1)). At pH 8 a single oxidation product was formed which was identified via LC-LTQ-Orbitrap MS and NMR as N-(4-carbamoyl-2-imino-5-oxoimidazolidin)formamido-N-methoxyacetic acid (COFA). Using Vibrio fischeri , an acute bacterial toxicity was found for COFA while carboxy-ACV revealed no toxic effects. Ozonation experiments with guanine and guanosine at pH 8 led to the formation of the respective 2-imino-5-oxoimidazolidines, confirming that guanine derivatives such as carboxy-ACV are undergoing the same reactions during ozonation. Furthermore, COFA was detected in finished drinking water of a German waterworks after ozonation and subsequent activated carbon treatment.