Results of Blaine water police investigation released

- The city of Blaine, Minnesota is taking a closer look at its recent water problems to make sure there are no more issues going forward. Blaine has been hit by two water outages in the last two months, forcing residents to temporarily boil their water and closing schools for a day.

City councilman Jason King is not holding back, calling the two recent water outages “unacceptable” and “completely preventable.”

“It’s a huge concern,” King said. “As city council and city services, water is the most critical thing we provide.”

Back on Jan. 8, residents and businesses in Blaine lost water for several hours. Officials blamed a software issue for that outage, but that didn’t stop the Blaine Police Department from investigating whether something criminal had occurred, consulting with the Anoka County Attorney’s Office and the FBI.

JAN 8: Schools closed, boil requirement in place after Blaine water outage

FEB. 12: Major drop in Blaine water pressure

Law enforcement this week released its findings in a significantly redacted report. While no apparent malice or intent was found, the investigation seemed to leave open the possibility that one or two public works employees did something wrong with a water supply computer warning and notification system.

In releasing the report, the city wrote: "The Blaine Police Department has determined there was neither criminal intent nor criminal action to disrupt water service to the City of Blaine and there are no known attacks on the City of Blaine water supply or the systems which support the water supply system."

“Minnesota data practice prohibits us from going into detail,” King said. “It was not malicious as the criminal report said. It’s unfair to report this down to one individual. It was a systemic issue. There were no alerts or warnings that something had happened.”

The January water outage put residents under a boil advisory for two days and closed several schools in the Anoka-Hennepin, Spring Lake Park and Centennial school districts.

“When you hear about this, you think Flint, Michigan at the worst,” Blaine resident Steve Hals said. “I didn’t think it was like that, so I have confidence in officials that they will get it taken care of.”

The city council is scheduled to get an update on Blaine’s infrastructure security Thursday night in a closed-door meeting.

Read a complete copy of the investigation at http://www.ci.blaine.mn.us/_docs/uploads/20170215-904622-904645.pdf


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