The abatement of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), including carbamazepine (CBZ), acetaminophen (ACP) and sulfamethoxazole (SMX), by zero-valent iron (Fe°) activated peroxydisulfate (PDS) system (Fe°/PDS) in pure water and groundwater was investigated. The removal rates of CBZ, ACP and SMX were 85.4%, 100% and 73.1%, respectively, within 10 min by Fe°/PDS in pure water. SO4•-, •OH and O2•- were identified in the Fe°/PDS system, and O2•- was indicated to play an important role in the ACP degradation. The degradation of PPCPs increased with increasing dosages of Fe° and PDS or with decreasing pH and initial PPCP concentrations. Interestingly, the degradation of PPCPs by Fe°/PDS was significantly enhanced in groundwater compared with that in pure water, which was partially attributed to SO42- and Cl-. The first-order constants of CBZ, ACP and SMX increased from 0.021, 0.242 and 0.013 min-1 to 0.239, 2.536 and 0.259 min-1, and to 0.172, 1.516 and 0.197 min-1, respectively, with increasing the concentrations of SO42- and Cl- to 100 mg/L and 10 mg/L, respectively. This study firstly reports the unexpected enhancement of groundwater matrix on the degradation of micropollutants by Fe°/PDS, demonstrating that Fe°/PDS can be an efficient technology for groundwater remediation.