Thunder Bay’s City Council approved an interest-free loan program on June 22, 2020. The program will allow property owners to borrow funds from the City to assist in the replacement of privately-owned lead water service pipes.

“This program provides financial assistance to homeowners to reduce lead levels in drinking water at their tap,” said Michelle Warywoda, director of the environment division at the City of Thunder Bay. “Loans for up to $3,000 of eligible costs are available, for five years, or 10 years for property owners that qualify under the Tax and Credit Program for Low-Income Seniors and Low-Income Persons with Disabilities or the Tax and Water Credit Program for Low-Income Persons.”

Costs that are eligible to be covered by the loans include: contractor’s labour for connection, excavation and backfilling, equipment charges, materials/supplies, and building permit fees.

The best way to reduce lead in drinking water at the tap is to replace all lead piping.The City of Thunder Bay encourages property owners to consider replacing the privately-owned portion of their lead service pipe. Each year, the City of Thunder Bay replaces publicly-owned portion of the pipes through capital infrastructure projects, emergency repairs, and the Priority Lead Replacement Program.

The water produced by the Bare Point Water Treatment Plant does not contain lead nor does the water in the City’s distribution system. Maintaining a safe and sustainable water supply is a top priority for the City’s Water Authority. Loan approvals will be subject to the availability of funding and priority given on a first come first serve basis.

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More information about the City of Thunder Bay’s approach to reducing lead in drinking water is available here.

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