City of Blaine to announce water test results Monday night

Following a citywide drop in water pressure on Sunday evening, the City of Blaine is working with a certified testing facility to complete water tests.

Results are expected around 10 p.m. Monday.

The precautionary boil advisory is still in effect until further notice. Updates will be provided on the City’s website.

According to the city, their initial investigation indicates the water pressure loss was because of an internal power supply failure at Water Tower #1 and the power supply failure disrupted the utility communication system. The power supply has been replaced and Blaine is working with outside experts to audit the utility system.

This is the second water issue the city has had in the past six weeks. City officials say the first issue stemmed from a software problem.

City Manager Clark Arneson says the issues are not related.

During a Monday afternoon press conference, Arneson would not comment on whether or not a personnel investigation is underway and cited data privacy laws as to why he couldn't answer whether or not this was a city staff issue. He did, however, say there was a communication problem. 

Arneson says the power failure disrupted the utility communication system and as water demand increased into Sunday night, the system wasn't able to activate additional pumps, which in turn failed to send out water tower level alarms to on-call staff.

“We feel our water system is safe, always has been safe, but based on Minnesota Department of Health, we are following their protocol in advising residents to do a 24-hour boil,” said Arneson.

“I sympathize with people that have dentists appointments, they couldn't even get their teeth fixed, hospitals, it's just a sad, sad state,” said City of Blaine Mayor Tom Ryan.

A special consultant with the League of Minnesota Cities is conducting an audit. The power supply has been replaced and they say they're taking steps to prevent another issue in the future.