An on-line solid phase extraction method for the preconcentration and determination of Cu(II) by flame atomic absorption spectrometry (FAAS) has been described. It is based on the adsorption of copper(II) ion onto a home made mini column of Chromosorb 105 resin loaded with pyrocatechol violet at the pH range of 5.0-8.0, then eluted with 1 mol L-1 HNO3, Several parameters, such as pH of the sample solution, amount of Chromosorb 105 resin, volume of sample and eluent, type of eluent, flow rates of sample and eluent, governing the efficiency and throughput of the method were evaluated. The concentration of the copper ion detected after preconcentration was in agreement with the added amount. At optimized conditions, for 15 min of preconcentration time (30 mL of sample volume), the system achieved a detection limit of 0.02 mu g L-1, with relative standard deviation 1.1% at 0.03 mu g mL(-1) copper. The present method was found to be applicable to the preconcentration of Cu(II) in natural water samples. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.