(Ref: 22 M.R.S.A. § 2660A) A bulk water transport permit (BWT) is required when:

  • Water is transported for commercial purposes,
  • in containers greater than 10 gallons in size,
  • across municipal boundaries.


1) Any water utility as defined in Title 35-A;

2) water transported for use in well drilling, construction activities, concrete mixing, swimming pool filling, servicing portable toilets, firefighting, hospital operations, aquaculture, agricultural applications or civil emergencies; and

3) water distilled as a by-product of a manufacturing process.


Emergency Permit (duration: 1 month)

Initially, the Drinking Water Program (DWP) receives an appeal (or permit) request for BWT. The written request must include the following information:

  • When the bulk water transport will occur? ___
  • How much water will be transported? ___
  • Water treatment process at the water supplier, during transport and at the recipient? ___
  • Recipient’s name, PWSID #, address, and phone number? ___
  • Trucker’s name, address, and phone number? ___
  • Water supplier’s name, PWSID #, address, and phone number? ___

Standard Permit (duration: 3 years)

The applicant mustalso demonstrate (in writing) the following:

  • Transport of the water will not constitute a threat to public health, safety or welfare;
  • that the water is not available naturally in the location to which it will be transported;
  • that failure to authorize transport of the water would create a substantial hardship to the potential recipient of the water; and
  • for a source not otherwise permitted by the Department of Environmental Protection, the water withdrawal will not adversely affect existing uses of groundwater or surface water resources, including private wells.


After a preliminary review for completeness, a “Standard” BWT permit request is then forwarded to the Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the State Geologist for review. The DWP then weighs the technical review comments of both of these state agencies, prior to making a recommendation regarding a BWT permit. Finally, the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services is given the statutory authority to either approve or deny a BWT permit, based upon the permit requester's demonstration of the three conditions for approval (see above). Normally, the BWT process takes 4-6 weeks. An “Emergency” BWT can be processed in 1 - 2 days. An “Emergency” BWT is only good for a 1 month duration, but can be renewed with prior notification.


The standard (non-emergency) BWT permit is valid for three (3) years. It is incumbent upon the applicant to apply for BWT renewal prior to the expiration date. Any and all changes, additions, as well as addressing the three conditions for approval (see above) -- must be submitted to the DWP in the BWT renewal request.