There is an increasing need to monitor trace-level concentrations of organic micropollutants in water, especially in surface and tap water. In the present review, attention is mainly devoted to the determination of polar pesticides. After an introduction which briefly explains the reasons to select this group of analytes, the advantages of on-line monitoring procedures for early-warning and rapid-screening purposes are outlined. The main part of the paper is devoted to a discussion of selected papers from the recent literature, which combine sample treatment by means of solid-phase extraction (SPE), and a liquid (LC) or gas (GC) chromatographic separation-cum-detection procedure in one set-up. Aspects of special interest include (i) the variety of detectors in use with both SPE-LC and SPE-GC procedures, (ii) the increasing popularity of (on-line and off-line) SPE-LC-MS techniques, and (iii) the high potential of SPE-GC as well as alternative sample treatment-GC procedures. © 1995.