A method for the speciation of chromium(III), chromium(VI) and determination of total chromium based on coprecipitation of chromium(III) with dysprosium hydroxide has been investigated and applied to tap water samples. Chromium(III) was quantitatively recovered by the presented method, while the recovery values for chromium(VI) was below 10%. The influences of analytical parameters including amount of dysprosium(III), pH, centrifugation speed and sample volume for the quantitative precipitation were examined. No interferic effects were observed from alkali, earth alkali and some transition metals for the analyte ions. The detection limits (k = 3, N = 15) were 0.65 mu g/L for chromium(III) and 0.78 mu g/L for chromium(VI). The validation of the presented method was checked by the analysis of certified reference materials. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.