Abstract Solid-contact Pb2+-selective-electrodes and solid contact reference electrodes suitable for use as disposable sensing devices for environmental monitoring of lead have been prepared on screen-printed substrates. Accurate control over the fabrication procedures leads to excellent reproducibility of their calibration characteristics such as slope, offset and limit of detection. In particular, the limit of detection in the nanomolar range opens the possibility of their use for trace analysis of Pb2+ in environmental water samples. Significantly, the potentiometric measurements correlate well with data determined using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) in a number of real samples taken from local rivers. Ways in which these sensors might be employed in autonomous platforms for monitoring water quality in situ are discussed. The possibility of including arrays of virtually identical sensors is highlighted as a possible route to achieve long-term deployments.