Abstract A novel type of disposable sensor for the determination of iron(II) in aqueous solution is described. The iron sensor serves to exemplify a new class of disposable field tests for field analysis of water pollutants. The sensors are comprised of capillary glass tubes filled with porous sol—gel silica powder doped with o-phenanthroline. When a sample solution is passed through a tube detector the iron ions are complexed by the immobilized o-phenanthroline and a stained section of the capillary develops. Metrological characteristics of these detectors including precision and accuracy and chemical interferences by heavy metals and humic acids are discussed.