The water vending machine program (WVM) is part of the Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.00. For more information on the drinking water requirements go to Point-of-Use and Point-of-Entry Devices Regulation .

In Massachusetts, the approval of a WVM is a multi-step process involving several agencies including the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and the Department of Public Health (DPH). The following are the steps to obtain approval of WVM in Massachusetts:

Step 1. New Technology for Water Vending Machine - Review & Approval: MassDEP Boston Office 

(If the WVM has already received MassDEP's approval go to Step 2.)

The following information shall be submitted with all permit applications: BRP WS31 and BRP WS11:

  • A complete description of the new technology of the WVM;
  • Any technical supporting data and internal plumbing drawings/schematics;
  • A copy of the operation and maintenance manual;
  • A list of all the parts that are in contact with the water and their respective specifications showing that the parts are NSF and/or FDA approved;
  • The permit fee payment must be made by check or money order payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and mail with a completed Transmittal Form & Number for Permit Application & Payment to: DEP, PO Box 4062, Boston, MA 02211. Write on the check the transmittal form number, which is located on the top right corner of the Transmittal Form for Permit Application and Payment. 

A. With Third Party Approval: If the vending model has been approved by a third party certifying agency acceptable to MassDEP, such as the National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA), submit the above noted information in the permit application:

  • BRP WS31 (Vending Machines and POU/POE Devices) to: MassDEP/Drinking Water Program, One Winter Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 Attn: Mr. Otavio DePaula-Santos.
  • A required payment of $290.00 must be mailed to: DEP, PO Box 4062, Boston, MA 02211. A completed Transmittal Form for Permit Application and Payment must be attached to your check or money order.
  • Questions regarding this permit may be addressed to Mr. Otavio DePaula-Santos at 617-556-1085.

B. Without Third Party Approval: If the vending machine does not have NAMA approval or any other third party acceptable to MassDEP, submit the above noted information in the permit application:

  • BRP WS11 (Minor New Technology Approval - No Field Test) to MassDEP/Drinking Water Program, One Winter Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02108 Attn.: Frank Niles
    A required payment of $2,265.00 to DEP, PO Box 4062, Boston, MA 02211. Questions regarding this permit may be addressed to Frank Niles at 617-574-6871.

Step 2. Site Approval & Public Water System (PWS) Registration - MassDEP Regional Offices

A. Site Approval Process:

  • For the installation of a water vending machine at 1 to 9 locations on the same PWS, the applicant must submit to the respective MassDEP regional office for the city/town where the vending machine will be installed the following:
    • MassDEP/DWP approval letter for the new technology of that model;
    • the permit application BRP WS30;
    • Pay a permit fee of $290.00.
  • For the installation of water vending machines at 10 or more locations on the same PWS, the applicant must submit to the respective MassDEP regional office for the city/town where the vending machine will be installed the following:
  • MassDEP/DWP approval letter for the new technology of that model;
  • the permit application BRP WS35;
  • Pay a permit fee of $1,630.00.
  • MassDEP Offices and Locations

B. Registration as a Public Water System:

Per USEPA's definition, water vending machines are public water systems (PWS) and are classified as transient non-community (TNC) as part of the approval process for BRP WS30 and BRP WS35. As such, the WVM shall be registered with MassDEP Regional Offices as a PWS class TNC. For further information on the requirements of TNC systems see the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.00.

Step 3. Department of Public Health Approval - DPH Boston Office

The Department of Public Health's Food Protection Program also requires a license and approval for installing a water vending machine at each location. For more information see Licensure to Operate a Water Vending Machine pdf format of Licensure to Operate a Water Vending Machine
doc format of Licensure to Operate a Water Vending Machine or contact the DPH/Food Protection Program at 617-983-6700.

Be aware of the following requirements:

  • All connections of the potable water system to the water vending machine must comply with 248 CMR and all other applicable state and local codes and regulations.
  • As a TNC PWS the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations, 310 CMR 22.11B, requires that all water vending machines be overseen by a Massachusetts Certified Drinking Water Operator grade VND or greater. For more information regarding certified operators for water vending machines look for the Massachusetts Drinking Water Regulations on the DEP website and look for sections 310 CMR 22.11B(b) and (d) or contact the Board of Certification of Drinking Water Operators at 617-727-6171.
  • If a water vending unit is connected to a PWS and any chemicals are added and/or a reverse osmosis is used, a Reduced Pressure Backflow Prevention (RPBP) device must be installed on the supply line before the water vending machine to prevent contamination of the water supply. The plans for the installation of a RPBP must be reviewed and approved by the local water supply authority before a device is installed by a Massachusetts licensed plumber.
  • If the water vending machine generates waste it must be installed in compliance with 248 CMR and all other applicable state and local codes and regulations. Waste water disposal requirements must be followed.