In the City of Thunder Bay, our drinking water comes from Lake Superior. Water is delivered to us from the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant on Lakeshore Drive. The location and depth of the intake at the Plant makes our water quality stable for a long time. This ensures a safe water supply for City’s water system consumers. Learn how we protect our water to ensure that it’s safe to use.

The City strives to protect our drinking water and provide you with quality water through source water protection, backflow prevention, and quality control.

*Below, the American Water Works explains how to maintain high water quality, specifically with faucets:

 *Excepted by permission. Copyright © American Water Works Association. 

Raw water

Raw water taken directly from the lake is not suitable for drinking. We have to treat it to meet Ontario’s drinking water regulations. At the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant:

  • We draw water from its source;
  • Pass it through a screening process;
  • Filter it through the Zeeweed membrane filtration system; and
  • Disinfect and then transport it through the City’s extensive water supply system.

Requirements for drinking water

The City’s Municipal Drinking Water Works Licence, in conjunction with the Safe Drinking Water Act and associated regulations, set stringent monitoring requirements for drinking water. The City employs a certified Laboratory 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 Report, prepared as required by Ontario Regulation 170/03 Drinking Water Systems.

Water fill stations
We operate and maintain two residential water fill stations (tap houses) to provide rural Thunder Bay residents with potable water and we have one fill station for commercial use only. 

Pre-paid fob

City’s residential and commercial Water Fill stations use a fob system. In order to dispense water, you need to purchase a fob. A $15 deposit is required when you purchase your fob. Lost or damaged fobs will not be refunded.

Charge for water

The charge for water at water fill stations is $0.003630 per litre or $3.630 per cubic metre.

Costs for water quantities

Litres           

Gallons       

Cost          

Description                               

4.54

1

$0.02

1 gallon container

22.70

5

$0.08

5 gallon container

45.40

10

$0.16

10 gallon container

1135

250

$4.12

Water Tank on Pick-up Truck

4600

1013

$16.70

Average Water Delivery Tanker Truck

Where to get a fob

You can buy commercial water fill station fobs at the City Cashiers wicket in Victoriaville Civic Centre only. You can buy residential water fill station fobs at any of the following locations:

  • Cathy's Discount Store, 238 Red River Rd
  • City of Thunder Bay Cashiers wicket, Victoriaville Civic Centre, 125 S Syndicate Ave
  • Municipality of Shuniah Office, 420 Leslie Ave
  • Oliver Road Can-op, 1419 Oliver Rd
  • South Neebing Variety, 2060 Hwy 61 (Hwy 61 at Mountain Rd)

Water fill station locations

You can use the following water fill stations once you have your fob. Don't forget to have your fob with you when picking up water. Please don't idle your vehicle!

Valley Street Water fill station

​Valley Street, north of the Hwy 11/17 expressway, at the intersection of Valley Street & Hutton Park Drive, for residential use only

Highway 61 Water fill station 

Highway 61 at Mount Forest Boulevard for residential and commercial haulers

Central Avenue Water fill station 

West of Amber Drive, for commercial customers only who haul large amounts of water.

How to use a water fill station

  1. Apply your key fob to the touch reader
  2. Enter your 4 Digit FOB Number (omit the zero at front of # if there is one)
  3. Press C Key to select PUMP – Press 1 for Outlet #1 (this is default setting). Press 2 for Outlet #2, 3 for Outlet #3
  4. Press * Key to select PRE and then enter amount of water you require in litres
  5. Press the D key for OK

Your credit balance will display and water will start dispensing to your requested amount or to your credit available, whichever is the smallest  amount.

Check the display

The display will show the amount dispensed in cubic meters (example: 1.00 = one cubic meter = 1,000 litres). The total amount dispensed will stay on the screen at the end of the transaction. Press red stop button at any time to stop the transaction. 

Frozen water service

Some City residences can be at risk for frozen water pipes, 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.

What you can do

Here are steps you 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 (~13 degrees C) 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 like 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

Have frozen pipes in the past?

If your home has experienced frozen water services in the past, and the part that froze was on City property, we may advise you to leave a cold-water tap running slightly if frost depths are deeper than normal. We will adjust your water bill to consider this. If the freezing was located on private property, any extra cost is the property owner’s responsibility.

Experiencing frozen water services this winter?

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

Learn how the City of Thunder Bay will provide support after in the case where you suspect your water service is frozen.

Corrosion Control Plan  

In accordance with Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) regulations, the City developed a Corrosion Control Plan and has added sodium hydroxide to its water supply to reduce the amount of lead found in tap water.

Maintaining High Water Quality: Faucets  
See tips on how to maintain the water faucets in your home from the American Water Works Association faucets in your home.
Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

View our Drinking Water Quality Annual Report for more information.

Past reports

Drinking Water Quality 2017 Annual Report

2016 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2015 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2014 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2013 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2012 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2011 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2010 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

2009 Drinking Water Quality Annual Report

City of Thunder Bay Water Authority Financial Plan
For more information, view the City of Thunder Bay Water Authority Financial Plan 2018.

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