A new chelating resin, poly[ N-(4-bromophenyl)-2-methacrylamide-co-2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid-co-divinylbenzene], was synthesized and characterized. The resin was used for selective separation, preconcentration and determination of Cu(II), Ni(II), Co(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), Mn(II) and Fe(III) ions in water samples by flame atomic absorption spectrometry. Effects of pH, concentration and volume of elution solution, sample flow rate, sample volume and interfering ions (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+), Fe(3+), Mn(2+), Al(3+). Zn(2+), Pb(2+), Cu(2+), Ni(2+), Cd(2+), Cl(-) and SO(4)(2-)) on the recovery of the analytes were investigated. The sorption capacity of the resin was 25.6, 19.8, 32.1, 41.3, 38.9, 13.9 and 18.3 mgg(-1) for Cu(II), Ni(II), Co(II), Cd(II), Pb(II), Mn(II) and Fe(III), respectively. A high preconcentration factor, 100, and low relative standard deviation, <= 2.5% (n = 7) values were obtained. The detection limits (mu g L(-1)) were 0.57 for Cu(II), 0.37 for Ni(II), 0.24 for Co(II), 0.09 for Cd(II), 1.6 for Pb(II), 0.19 for Mn(II) and 0.72 for Fe(III). The method was validated by analysing fortified lake water (TMDA-54.4, a trace element fortified calibration standard) and spiked water samples. The method was applied to the determination of the analytes in tap and lake water samples. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.