A procedure is described for the (non-target) screening of hetero-atom-containing compounds in tap and waste water by correlating data obtained by gas chromatography (GC) using atomic emission (AED) and mass selective (MS) detection. Solid-phase extraction (SPE) was coupled on-line to both GC systems to enable the determination of microcontaminants at the 0.02-1 μg L-1 level in 7-50 mL of aqueous sample. The screening was limited to compounds present in at least one heteroatom-selective GC-AED trace above a predetermined concentration level. These compounds were identified by their partial formulae (AED) and the corresponding mass spectra, which were obtained from the CC-MS chromatogram via the retention index concept. The potential of the approach was demonstrated by the identification of target compounds as well as all unknowns present in tap and waste water above the predetermined threshold of 0.05 μg L-1 (tap water) or 0.5 μg L-1 (waste water).