Bottled Water/Water Dispensing Machine Registration Details, FAQ and Step-by-Step Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

If my company is not located in Michigan, do I still need to register?

Yes, even companies from outside the U.S. must register to sell bottled water products in Michigan.

What do I register? 

The brands and types of water that you will be selling in Michigan. See the Bottled Water Step-by-Step Guide below for guidance on how to register your water.

If my company is located in Michigan, do I need to do anything besides register?

Yes, you must also obtain a food establishment license from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and receive a source approval letter from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. 

What is an approved source? 

Your water must come from a protected and approved source. Whether the source is a spring, artesian well or a municipal water system, you must have a source approval letter. Instate source approval letters can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy and out-of-state source approval letters can be obtained from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. See the Bottled Water Step-by-Step Guide for directions.

Do all firms registering to sell bottled water in Michigan require a source approval letter?

Yes. See the Bottled Water Step-by-Step Guide for directions and to obtain your source approval letter.  

What types of beverages must be registered?

Only bottle waters (e.g., spring water, carbonated drinking water). Products that contain fruit juice, sugars, artificial sweeteners, corn syrups, etc., are considered drinks and do not require registration. 

What about machines that process water in a grocery store?  Do they need to be registered?

Yes. All machines that process water, wherever they are located, must be registered. Review the Bottled Water Step-by-Step Guide below for directions and guidance on how to register your water dispensing machine.

If I have more than one machine at a single location, how many registrations do I need? 

You need one registration for each machine. 

Bottled Water Registration Step-by-Step Guide

This guide has been established to help guide potential manufacturers/distributors of bottled water through the process of developing and registering bottled water and water-dispensing machines.

The guide details the steps necessary to develop a water source with the intent of bottling for drinking purposes. Also included is information on registering bottled water dispensing machines.

Step 1:

For in-state Bottled Water Manufacturers, contact Todd Brookens, Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), at 517-388-9818, for water source approval.

Drinking Water & Environmental Health Division For in-state Bottle Water Manufacturers EGLE will provide onsite inspection, if necessary, as well as evaluation of the water in question.
EGLE will then approve or reject the source.

**All in-state water sources must be approved by EGLE prior to sale, or offering for sale, bottled water, whether the source is municipal, spring or well.

***For out-of-state bottled water manufacturers, go to the application for MDARD source approval.

Step 2:

Manufacturers within Michigan are required to obtain a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Food Establishment License. Because bottling water is considered food processing, applicable laws and regulations must be followed. As one of your first steps, review the Food Establishment Licensing Step-by-Step Guide, or contact MDARD at 800-292-3939 for more information on food establishment licensing.

Step 3:

Familiarize yourself with Michigan laws and regulations governing the production, sale and distribution of bottled water in the state of Michigan:

Step 4:

Register the bottled water product and/or water-dispensing machine with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Food and Dairy Division.

Bottled Water Manufacturers

The bottled water manufacturer is required to register each brand and type of water that will be sold in Michigan. A brand of water for example is "Jack's Spring Water." Another brand would be: "Jane's Spring Water." Types of water for example would be: "Joe's Spring Water," and another type could be: "Joe's Drinking Water." If a firm manufactured all four of those items, they would be required to register 4 products, at $25.00 each for a total of $100. (Please note that the size of the container does not matter.) An example label or a proposed label needs to be included with your registration application. Additional instructions are attached to the Bottled Water Registration Application (FI-152) form.

Water Dispensing Machines


If you have questions concerning bottled water or water-dispensing machine registration, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development at 800-292-3939 or write to the Food and Dairy Division at:

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Food and Dairy Division
P.O. Box 30017
Lansing, MI  48909