BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) – State officials say testing done at the Quabbin Reservoir showed no abnormalities after seven people were seen at a reservoir park entrance late at night.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority said Wednesday that water quality samples all came back normal after the alleged trespassing incident.
The central Massachusetts reservoir supplies drinking water to Boston.
State Police spokesman David Procopio says Tuesday night that a trooper saw two cars parked at a reservoir park entrance at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, then saw five young men and two young women walking toward them from the reservoir.
Procopio said they are from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Singapore with addresses in Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland and Northampton, and New York City. He said law enforcement databases show no warrants, detainers or advisories on them.
The men told police they are recently graduated chemical engineers curious about the reservoir. The students were from UMass Amherst and Smith College.
The trooper determined the people were trespassing and in violation of the no trespassing law and requested backup. Officers arrived on scene and checked the cars, park area, and the people and did not find any items out of place or of criminal nature.
Following an investigation, the individuals were allowed to leave as there was no evidence of any criminal activity or tampering with the water system; however, the individuals will be summonsed to court for the offense of trespassing.
Greg Comcowich, a spokesman for the Boston FBI, said the FBI was notified about the incident, which he said is routine when "critical infrastructure" such as water supplies or electrical systems are involved. He would not comment on the incident.
Due to the suspicious time the group was at the reservoir, an investigation is ongoing and the individuals will face the trespassing charges at a later date.
The Mass. Water Resources Authority issued a statement Wednesday saying if there was a problem with the water supply it would be detected immediately.
"MWRA operates a state-of-the-art, real-time monitoring system around the clock to ensure the safety of our water supply. Any abnormalities are detected immediately. As an extra precaution, water quality samples were analyzed at MWRA's lab yesterday and all came back normal. There is no evidence of any water quality issues at the Quabbin Reservoir following the trespassing incident."
MWRA says the water is tested daily (and continuously) for its biological, chemical and physical properties.
When something out of the ordinary occurs, MWRA conducts additional testing for a wider range of potential contaminants in more locations, which was done in this case.