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Water Quality & Conservation

The City of Thunder Bay sits on the shore of Lake Superior, the world's largest freshwater lake. The name of our city comes from the immense bay at the head of the lake. With so much water at our doorstep, it's hard to believe there is a need to conserve. However, less than one percent of the world's water is replenished annually through the water cycle. Seventy-five percent of the Earth is covered in water, but about 97 percent of that is too salty for humans, most animals and plants to use. Another two percent of the water on Earth is trapped in the form of glacial ice at the North and South Poles.

Lake Superior ViewWhat's left for us? Only one percent of all the water on the planet is available to support life, and 25 percent of that is contained in the lakes and rivers of Canada. The residential sector is the fastest growing sector of water users across Canada. In fact, on a worldwide basis, Canadians are second only to Americans in the amount of water used in our homes.

In Thunder Bay, we have world-class drinking water and wastewater systems. We are working hard to promote the wise use of water through our various retrofit incentives and conservation programs. We strive to protect our water supply while providing high-quality water to residents and businesses through Source Water Protection planning and prudent management.

Thunder Bay's Water Quality Report

Our Annual Water Quality Reports to consumers are required by Ontario's new Drinking Water Protection Regulation. Water quality is reported annually in compliance with Ontario Regulation 170/03 under the Safe Drinking Water Act 2002 that took effect on June 1, 2003.

The report focuses on the protection of water quality for our customers. It describes the City's water supply operations, and provides information about drinking water quality, how the water is treated and delivered, source water protection and wise water use.

The Environment Division Water Authority has been formally awarded an accreditation by the Canadian Standards Board. The accreditation was awarded based on the audit of the City of Thunder Bay Operational Plan for Thunder Bay's drinking water system.

Quality Management Policy
Accreditation Certificate


The Operational Plan may be viewed at Sewer and Water South - 410 Mountdale Avenue, Sewer and Water North - 155 Front Street, and at the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant on Bare Point Road.


See also our Xeriscaping webpage

Water meter replacement

The City of Thunder Bay periodically inspects and replaces older water meters. All inspections and replacement work is completed by identifiable City staff. The City will notify residents if and when their water meter is due for replacement. 


In 2007, the Ministry of the Environment (now Ministry of the Environment & Climate Change) released Regulation 453/07 requiring all municipalities to complete a Financial Plan for their drinking water system. The City of Thunder Bay Water Authority Financial Plan (see below) has been developed to achieve financial viability; limit overall water costs and remain affordable; provide safe drinking water in the short and long term; enable the long-term plan for capital renewal to be realized; achieve full cost recovery over the long term and maintain current service levels. 

View the City of Thunder Bay Water Authority Financial Plan  Adobe PDF, 34 pages, 777 KB

For more information on Drinking Water Systems and how drinking water is protected, visit the Province of Ontario's Drinking Water website.

For general inquiries or to report a problem, call our dispatchers at 625-2195.

City of Thunder Bay
Environment Division

Address: Victoriaville Civic Centre  
111 Syndicate Avenue S    
PO Box 800            
Thunder Bay ON           
P7C 5K4   
Tel: (807) 625-2836
Director:     Michelle Warywoda                                               
Tel: (807) 625-2836
Fax: (807) 625-3588