Source water is untreated water from streams, lakes or underground aquifers used to supply private wells and public drinking water systems. Source water protection is about protecting both the quality and quantity of these sources, now and in the future. Thunder Bay receives its source water from Lake Superior at the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant.
Source water protection is an outcome of the Clean Water Act, 2006 based largely on recommendations from The Walkerton Inquiry. The Act introduces a new level of protection for Ontario drinking water resources that focuses on protecting water before it enters the drinking water treatment system.
Image to the Left:
The yellow circle reflects the primary protection zone around the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant Intake, a circle of a one kilometre radius.
The red line shows the secondary protection zone which includes in-water and along shore, upland and up-tributary areas of protection.
Source protection involves identifying threats to drinking water sources and determining appropriate actions to reduce or eliminate those threats. Thunder Bay uses the approach known as watershed-based source protection, which means managing these threats at the level of river systems as a whole. This approach makes most sense because water flows across community boundaries. Activities in one community may influence the drinking water of another downstream as well as its own source.
Source Water Protection is only one part of ensuring safe drinking water. Other key elements are effective water treatment, protection of the distribution system and adequate testing of the finished drinking water and training of personnel involved with water treatment and distribution.
For more information contact Infrastructure & Operations at 625-2195.
Water resource links to partner and community groups:
The Drinking Water Source Protection website, provided by the Lakehead Conservation Authority is a good source for information about a variety of drinking water source protection. See www.sourceprotection.net
EcoSuperior Environmental Programs web site has information on water conservation and water protection at www.ecosuperior.org
Visit the water page on the EarthWise website to learn more about the water section of the Community Environmental Action Committee at www.earthwisethunderbay.com