Abstract This paper describes a procedure developed to separate americium-241 from the bulk of a sample by coprecipitation followed by high sensitivity gamma-counting of the concentrate in a well-type detector. It enables the measurement of 241Am at low concentrations, e.g. fallout levels in soils and sediments, or where large sample sizes are not available. The method is much faster and more reliable than those involving separation from other alpha-emitters, electroplating and alpha-spectrometry. A number of tracer experiments was performed in order to optimize the conditions for coprecipitation of 241Am from sediment leachates. The general outline of the determination of americium is also given.