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Protecting Drinking Water in Thunder Bay

Archived News Release

Protecting Drinking Water in Thunder Bay

McGuinty Government Approves Province’s First Source Protection Plan

Ontario has approved the Lakehead Source Protection Plan to make the Thunder Bay area the first place in the province with a comprehensive source-to-tap drinking water protection plan. 

The plan was developed by the Lakehead Source Protection Committee and its municipal and community partners.

Under the Clean Water Act, passed in response to the Walkerton tragedy, 19 local source protection committees have been established for watersheds across Ontario. Their common goal is to prevent contamination from entering local sources of drinking water by developing collaborative, watershed-based source protection plans that are locally driven and based in science.

Protecting local drinking water sources is part of the McGuinty government's plan to enhance quality of life for Ontario families and protect the health of Ontarians for future generations.

Quick Facts

  • Lake Superior provides drinking water for more than 100,000 people in the Thunder Bay area. Two groundwater wells serve 29 homes in Rosslyn Village.
  • When completed, watershed-based source protection plans will protect more than 450 municipal drinking water sources.
  • Ontario has provided more than $200 million for source protection planning since 2004.

Additional Resources


Jim Bradley

“Strong local leadership plays a key role in protecting the drinking water that flows from your taps. I congratulate the Lakehead Source Protection Committee for working with area stakeholders to develop a sound plan that protects drinking water sources.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of the Environment

Bill Mauro

“I am pleased that the Lakehead Source Protection Plan effectively addresses risks to our drinking water by identifying the potential impact of certain activities on the quality of local drinking water. The Lakehead Source Protection Committee has done a wonderful job of working with its partners to develop a plan that best addresses our drinking water needs.”

Bill Mauro

MPP, Thunder Bay-Atikokan

“Thunder Bay is one step closer to strengthening the protection of its drinking water sources. This latest milestone is the culmination of great partnerships among community partners, agencies and residents and allows us to realize our goal of high quality drinking water for Thunder Bay and Rosslyn Village residents. It is very easy to make decisions for today but much more difficult to make tomorrow’s – that is what we have accomplished through this process.”

Bob Hartley

Chair, Lakehead Source Protection Committee

Michael Gravelle

“I'm thrilled that the Thunder Bay area will lead Ontario as the first region to offer a new source-to-tap drinking water protection plan. This plan will certainly enhance the health and quality of life of northern families for generations to come. I would like to thank everyone involved, particularly the Lakehead Source Protection Committee and their local partners.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Natural Resources

Media Contacts

  • Gary Wheeler

    Communications Branch



  • Contact information for the general public



  • David Mullock

    Minister's Office