A solid phase extraction procedure has been established for chromium speciation in natural water samples prior to determination by atomic absorption spectrometry. The procedure is based on the solid phase extraction of the Cr(VI)- Dowex M 4195 chelating resin. After oxidation of Cr(III) to Cr(VI) by using H2O2, the presented method was applied to the determination of the total chromium. The level of Cr(III) is calculated by difference of total chromium and Cr(VI) levels. The procedure was optimized for some analytical parameters including pH, eluent type, flow rates of sample and eluent, matrix effects, etc. The presented method was applied for the speciation of chromium in natural water samples with satisfactory results (recoveries >95%, RSDs <10%). In the determinations of chromium species, flame atomic absorption spectrometer was used. The results were checked by using NIST SRM 2711 Montana soil and GBW 07603 Bush branched and leaves. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.