City Says Lead Levels in Drinking Water to Rise


(THUNDER BAY, ON) – The City of Thunder Bay (CTB) has announced that lead levels in the water supply are expected to rise, at least for people who have lead pipes.

Below is the release made by the city regarding the issue.

Important Notice: pH Change to the City’s Drinking Water 
Lead Levels Expected to Increase for Customers with Lead Service Pipes – Filters to Be Provide
The pH of the drinking water of the City of Thunder Bay is changing as the City will phase out the addition of sodium hydroxide.
As a result of regulatory changes in Ontario, the City was mandated to implement a corrosion control plan to reduce lead levels at the tap. Sodium hydroxide was added to the City’s drinking water, in 2016, as part of a pilot study, as approved by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).
In 2018, sodium hydroxide was introduced city wide as a corrosion inhibitor to reduce lead levels at the tap for customers with lead service pipes or internal lead plumbing. Although the use of sodium hydroxide is effective at reducing lead levels, increased reports of pinhole leaks in pipes have been received which require further review.
The City is working closely with the MECP and the Thunder Bay District Health Unit on this change to the drinking water and evaluating other means of corrosion control that may be implemented in the future.
All customers should routinely flush their pipes prior to consumption to maintain water quality at the tap. This can be accomplished by taking a shower, flushing the toilet, doing a load of laundry, or running your cold water tap to clear the pipes.
Drinking water filters will be available to all customers with lead service pipes. In the coming weeks, customers with lead service pipes will receive additional information on this change and will be provided with a drinking water filter for one year at no charge. It is important customers use the filter provided as lead found in drinking water can pose significant health risks. This is especially important for homes with children under the age of 6, pregnant women, or women planning a pregnancy.
The City of Thunder Bay’s Water Authority’s top priority is to maintain a safe and sustainable supply of water for the citizens of Thunder Bay.
For more information on the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 and requirements for municipalities to implement a corrosion control plan, see Ontario Regulation 170/03 (Drinking Water Systems):

About Thunder Bay’s drinking water

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.

Learn about lead in drinking water and how you can protect yourself.

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.


17 Replies to “City Says Lead Levels in Drinking Water to Rise”

  1. Yep!! Lead in our water to make you sick but we’ll have a 30 million dollar art gallery and a 30 million dollar indoor turf facility that only a handful of people want.

    Now that’s some real intelligent priority setting. This useless council is obviously in the pockets of those with influence and don’t give a rat’s ass about the rest of the citizens of Dumpster Bay.

  2. Oh I’m sure there will be a study and outside consulting etc. Etc. Costing who knows how much before anything real gets done. How do people know if they have lead piping. Does the city come around and test every home?
    I know forget about it and build a soccer plex instead

  3. Class action lawsuit, people. Let me know if you’re interested. I’m serious. I’m no chemist but I know enough that since implantation of sodium hydroxide, I’ve been itchy. Your plumbing is now at risk. This was Govt my Ontario ordinance and they were not totally right. Ask this, were my children truly protected?

    1. Why not put an email to where people can respond wishing to join a class action suit. I agree all of council should give up their seats, mayor and all. I know that I voted for some and I would be embarrassed to say whom I did. The pool on vickers should have been fixed since it is pretty much a heritage thing, our roads are disgusting and they waste even more tax dollars to put fillers in that fall apart not too long after. Yes only a handful wanted the turf stadium and guess what, there were buildings that were offered free of charge for the players to use and they rejected them. Some people on city council are naughty, and yes our water. Is this why we have such a high cancer rate in Thunder Bay? Guess what council start fixing things and get the idea out of your little pea sized brains to rid us of this damn soccer stadium. Did the gardens not offer?

  4. Some how putting a chemical used in Drano into the water just didnt sit well with me when the city first announced they would be adding it to the water. Now they have small pinholes in the pipes? But it was safe to your inards??? Yup spend money on an art gallery, a soccer complex and coloured cross walks that appease special interest groups but to hell with providing more important and dire needed funding for improvements in basic services like safe water,snow removal,road repair or tackling the outrageous crime here.. When is city council going start working on making this city better for EVERYONE instead of being lead by the nose of those demanding their own pet projects be completed using the taxpayers dime?

    1. you all are so ignorant, sodium hydroxide aka caustic soda AKA LYE is not that cause of itchy skin nor will it burn out your insides like you dummies think, the quantitative percentage in the tap water is so little you get exposed to more simply eating an ice cream bar, or any of the other thousands of foods it is used in.. and the itchy skin is from the hard ass water we have not the lye so get a water softener and install a fucking Brita if you are so scared.

    2. flesru:

      You’re talking out of your ass. This issues is probably much bigger than you can wrap your head around.

      Numerous people have been experiencing excessive copper pipe corrosion due to sodium hydroxide. If you were to look up on Google: “copper pipe pin holes sodium hydroxide” you’ll see that this has been an issue detected as early as 2004 and the knowledge was out there for all to see. Our shit-for-brains City management have shot themselves in the foot, big time with this fiasco.

      Affected homes will have to be gutted to get at piping in the walls and chances are that there will be many, many homes with copper pipes springing leaks.

      This is going to cost us hugely. The City will be subject to numerous claims which may not be covered under insurance due to City management blatant negligence and incompetence. As a result, taxpayers will likely be shook down to pay the costs. Combine that with the disruption and inconvenience of homes being torn up, a lot of people will be pissed off.

      I’m thankful that our newly built place is plumbed with Pex.

      Dumpster Bay: Home of $200k/yr City management idiots.

    1. Hey flesruorykcufog I suspect your whole body is as backwards as your name. Your ass is where your brain was supposed to be and your challenged brain is in your ass. Since you dislay such an arrogant pompous disposition, someone ought to tell you that if you want to be a smart ass then first you need to get smart cause otherwise you are just an ass. FYI Sodium hydroxide is a strong base. It is used in Drano along with sodium chloride, sodium nitrite and aluminum. And yeah some of those chemicals are used in foods. And yes in minute amounts. But they all have been scientifically linked to causing all kinds of health risks and cancer. So if someone pisses in only one end of the pool would you still want to swim in? Thats a minute amount too. Got that? Now you can go fuck yourself.

    1. POSTED 4 times and finally got spelling correct WOW must be hammered already. the poorly educated are not just in usa UN f’in real ABSOLUTELY STUPID and fORD wants cut to education wow send him this post PINO if you can.

  5. Because of low water levels in Loch Lomond for one year with dead deer carcasses and beavers causing giardia lambia. The city decided to shut down the Loch Lomond water plant, switch to Bare point water station and back flow water through the lead packed pipes that were only meant to flow in one direction. This was no surprise that the city is having water issues. Fort William called it before the amalgamation of the two cities of Port Arthur and FW, Port Arthur would get most of the tax payer money invested there and FW would be left to deteriorate into a wasteland. But it was promised that would never happen and if the FW side didn’t like how things were run we could always go back to the way it was originally (which was a boldfaced lie). The one thing that could be counted on is that corporations will say anything to get money and be damned the families and people who have to fund the debacle. It’s always about the money, I’m curious to know exactly how far in debt our fair city of Thunder Bay is at this point, but don’t worry, city council can always raise our taxes to fund the interest payments and their pie in the sky plans while our infrastructure deteriorates and our families and children all lose hope and turn to drugs, crime and government handouts to get by or just flat out leave this town for someplace else.

  6. Yeah fles. You’re science degree must make you a professional on sodium hydroxide? This shit is corroding pipes causing leaks. Wonder what it’s doing to human organs?
    ‘Like other corrosive acids and alkalis, drops of sodium hydroxide solutions can readily decompose proteins and lipids in living tissues via amide hydrolysis and ester hydrolysis, which consequently cause chemical burns and may induce permanent blindness upon contact with eyes.[1][2] Solid alkali can also express its corrosive nature if there is water, such as water vapour.’ Also, I would like to add that it’s only been widely used since 2004. 16 years? What are we, mice as a test subject? .

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