Response surface methodology (RSM) is used to optimize the electrocoagulation/electro-flotation process applied for the removal of turbidity from surface water in an internal loop airlift reactor. Two flat aluminium electrodes are used in monopolar arrangement for the production of coagulants. The central composite design is used as a second-order mathematical model. The model describes the change of the measured responses of turbidity removal efficiency and energy consumption according to the initial conductivity (X1), applied voltage (X2), treatment time (X3) and inter-electrode distance (X4). The evaluation of the model fit quality is done by analysis of variance (ANOVA). Fisher's F-test is used to provide information about the linear, interaction and quadratic effects of factors. Multicriteria methodology, mainly the desirability function (D), is used to determine optimal conditions. The results show that, for a maximal desirability function D = 0.79, optimal conditions estimated are X1 = 1,487 μS/cm, X2 = 5 V, X3 = 6.5 min, X4 = 14 mm. The corresponding turbidity removal rate and energy consumption are 84.15% and 0.215 kWh/m3 respectively. A confirmation study is then carried out at laboratory scale using the optimal conditions estimated. The results show a turbidity removal rate of 72.05% and an energy consumption of 0.210 kWh/m3.