Skip Navigation

Drinking Water

In Thunder Bay, our drinking water comes from Lake Superior, delivered to us from the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant on Lakeshore Drive. Because of the location and depth of the intake at the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant, the water quality is consistent for long periods of time, ensuring a safe water supply for City of Thunder Bay water system consumers.Environment Division Water Authority Logo

Raw water taken directly from the lake is not suitable for drinking, and must be treated to meet Ontario’s drinking water regulations. At the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant, water is drawn from its source, passes through a screening process, and is filtered through the Zeeweed membrane filtration system before being disinfected and transported through the City’s extensive system of water supply pipes and reservoirs to the consumer’s tap.

The City’s Certificates of Approval from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change set stringent monitoring requirements for drinking water. The City employs a certified lab, Enviro-Test Laboratories, for its drinking water testing requirements. The results of this monitoring process are available in the latest of the City of Thunder Bay's Drinking Water Quality Annual Reports, prepared as required by Ontario’s Drinking Water Protection Regulation.


The City of Thunder Bay has developed a Corrosion Control Plan, in accordance with Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regulations. The Plan is being implemented in an effort to reduce lead levels at the tap through adjusting the water chemistry of the treated water with the addition of a pH buffering agent.

frozen water service?

snowflakeSome Thunder Bay residences can be at risk for frozen water services, depending on temperatures during the winter season. Most water service pipes are buried two metres below ground to protect against frost; however, extremely cold weather or fluctuations in temperature can result in frost pushing deeper into the ground and freezing pipes. The City will continue to monitor frost depth throughout the winter, and will take mitigating measures if necessary. Here are steps Thunder Bay homeowners can take to reduce the risk of frozen water services:

  • If water piping is located within cupboards next to exterior walls, keep cupboard doors open to allow warmer air to circulate around pipes
  • Do not set furnace lower than 55 degrees F at night, or when the house is vacant
  • Close and drain pipes leading to outside faucets
  • Wrap foam pipe insulation around pipes most susceptible to freezing (for example, pipes near outside walls, in crawl spaces, or in attics)
  • Seal air leaks in homes and garages
  • If you will be away for a long period of time, close off your main service valve in your basement and open all taps to allow pipes to drain, and have someone check your home regularly

If your home has experienced frozen water services in the past, and the freezing portion was located on City property, you may be advised by the City to leave a cold water tap running slightly if frost depths are deeper than normal. The City will adjust your water bill to take this into account (if the freezing was located on private property, any extra cost is the property owner’s responsibility).

If you experience frozen water services this winter, please call Dispatch at 625-2195. The City maintains an inventory of equipment to thaw out frozen water pipes and will respond as soon as possible.