Adenovirus is recognized as the most UV-resistant waterborne pathogen of concern to public health microbiologists. The U.S. EPA has stipulated that a UV fluence (dose) of 186 mJ cm(-2) is required for 4-log inactivation credit in water treatment. However, all adenovirus inactivation data to date published in the peer-reviewed literature have been based on UV disinfection experiments using UV irradiation at 253.7 nm produced from a conventional low-pressure UV source. The work reported here presents inactivation data for adenovirus based on polychromatic UV sources and details the significant enhancement in inactivation achieved using these polychromatic sources. When full-spectrum, medium-pressure UV lamps were used, 4-log inactivation of adenovirus type 40 is achieved at a UV fluence of less than 60 mJ cm(-2) and a surface discharge pulsed UV source required a UV fluence of less than 40 mJ cm(-2). The action spectrum for adenovirus type 2 was also developed and partially explains the improved inactivation based on enhancements at wavelengths below 230 nm. Implications for water treatment, public health, and the future of UV regulations for virus disinfection are discussed.