Abstract A multi-residue analytical method for six pesticides (atrazine, hydroxyatrazine, carbofuran, promecarb, linuron and monolinuron) in drinking water has been developed. The method combines liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry using an ionspray interface. The linearity domain, as well as the limits of detection and quantification, were determined for each compound. Although satisfactory performance could be achieved, present drinking water regulations (0.1 μg l−1 for single pesticide) requires a pre-concentration step. This was performed using solid-phase extraction with octadecyl-bonded silica cartridges. The analytical procedure was tested on water samples spiked at the 0.04 and 0.08 μg l−1 levels, and allowed the determination of the investigated pesticides (except hydroxyatrazine) at these trace concentrations.