Massachusetts Permitting


Mass department of environmental protection logo


Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Drinking Water Program

Contact Info

Joseph Cerutti

1 Winter Street – 5th Floor

Boston, MA 02108


(617)292-5696 fax

[email protected]



Official Site – Underground Injection Control:

Refer to the current “Guidelines for Ground Source Heat Pump Wells

Federal EPA

  • MassDEP has Primacy
  • Federal EPA not required on Public or Private Property.
  • Must be registered with Federal EPA if located on tribal lands.

The property owner is solely responsible for ensuring that the documentation and information submitted is appropriate for the current laws, regulations, or guidelines.


  1. All geothermal systems whether closed loop (horizontal and vertical), standing column wells, direct-exchange, or supply/diffusion wells, currently drilled or to be drilled, must be registered with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) Underground Injection Control (UIC) program.
  2. Geothermal Bores must only be installed by a contractor licensed with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MassDCR) Well Drillers Program. Horizontal Closed Loop trenches or fields that are not well bores are not required to be installed by a licensed contractor.

DCR logo

  1. The owner/operator is responsible for obtaining a MassDEP UIC registration number, and submitting the appropriate registration documents. The well driller and heat pump system installer are responsible for obtaining the MassDEP UIC registration number from the owner/operator prior to installing the well and heat pump system.
  2. UIC Registration Forms can be found at:
    • Residential is categorized as a residence of 4 living units or fewer and requires submittal of the form BRP WS-06e and associated attachments.
    • All others require submittal of the form BRP WS-06a,b&c and associated attachments.

  3. For the BRP WS-06a,b&c Form:
    Any geothermal system with 5 wells or less, all shallower than 750 feet, will be classified by checking box “c
    Any geothermal system with more than 5 wells and/or one or more wells greater than 750 feet deep will be classified by checking box “b
  4. UIC Registration Fees vary based on designated system type for these registrations. Municipal governments must register, but are exempt from these fees. The current schedule of fees can be found at the following URL:
  5. If filing the BRP WS06a,b&c form a “Transmittal of Payment Form” must be completed and submitted with payment. This form must also be filled out and submitted even when no fee is required. The “Transmittal of Payment Form” is not required for the BRP WS06e form.
    To obtain a Transmittal Number and the form, go to the following URL:
    When this page is opened you will see a yellow box in the center of the page with a “Get Transmittal Number” button inside the box. Clicking on this button will provide you with a unique and self generating number. This will be the project registration number that all of the documentation will be linked to. Copy it down and write the number in the upper right corner of the “Transmittal of Payment Form.” To download the form, click just below the yellow box on “step 3”. As a municipal government, exempt from the fees, the form still needs to be filed. There is an “exempt” box that needs to be checked at the bottom of the page.
    Once these forms are filed the property owner should receive a “conditional registration” from MassDEP. This will allow them to begin drilling. As the geothermal installation commences and is completed, the property owner shall be responsible for submitting all water testing results and other documentation as specified in the current “Guidelines for Ground Source Heat Pump Wells” to obtain final approvals for the system.
  6. According to MassDEP, the most common items missing from a UIC registration application are the following:
    • Original BRP WS06e or 06a,b&c signature page missing from submittal package (copies of signature are not accepted);
    • Name and registration number for the Massachusetts registered well driller that will install the well (not required for horizontal systems);
    • Type of antifreeze to be used in a closed-loop system (propylene glycol or ethanol (Environol) currently acceptable);
    • Flow design rate of system discharge well location (if applicable) and anticipated flow volumes (i.e. 3,000 gallons per day for 3 weeks per year);
    • Cross sectional diagram of the proposed well construction (including any system bleed dry well or trench locations), including well depth, bore hole diameter, tubing diameter (closed-loop), return line drop pipe depth (open-loop), grout interval, and depth below finished grade of the supply and return lines; and,
    • Site plan showing proposed well location, any system bleed location, any on-site (or nearby) drinking water wells, Title 5 septic tank and leaching field, building footprint, and property boundaries.
  7. In addition to state requirements, other local regulations and permits may apply. Check with the local Board of Health to determine whether a local well permit is also required for your type of geothermal well. Local requirements may vary across the state. Also, if your residential well will be used as a dual use standing column well and drinking water well, check with the local plumbing inspector to determine whether your town allows the dual use. Most but not all towns allow dual use wells for residential applications under proper conditions. However, dual use is not typically approved for commercial geothermal applications.

Water Energy Distributors, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy to our valued customers and clients. The information and references contained are valid to the best of our knowledge on the date that it was published. Guidelines, regulations, and permitting or registration requirements may change at any time without notice.