2017-01-08 Water Delivery Event

02/15/2017, 7:01pm

Below is a link to the completed Police Investigation into the City of Blaine Water Delivery Issue that occurred on January 8, 2017.
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.
We were required to redact portions of this investigation to ensure that we complied with MN State Law, specifically Chapter 13 of the MN Government Data Practices Act.
Follow-up Investigation #17-005782

1/12/2017, 11:00am - Recap Blaine Water Delivery Event

The City of Blaine is investigating the reasons behind a software malfunction that caused residents to be without water for a brief period on Sunday, January 8.

Upon preliminary review, it was found that the software application that notifies utility personnel when the water level in a tower is low was not operating.  A redundant notification system has already been implemented to ensure utility staff receives all alarms in the future. 

The city is also researching how to improve its ability to communicate with residents when significant events such as this arise.

This is a significant event for the City of Blaine.  Though at this time it is believed that nothing criminal or malicious occurred, the Blaine Police Department is leading an investigation to ensure there was no criminal wrong-doing.

Timeline of Events

On January 8 at 8:20am, citizens began reporting to Anoka County Central Communication that there was a water flow problem to homes in several areas in the city.  Central Communications notified the on-duty police sergeant of the problem.  The Sergeant then made contact with the Blaine Utility Staff.  Upon notification, utility staff began working to restore water service.

At 8:42am, the City’s Emergency Manager, Lt. Dan Pelkey, was notified that there were reports of a citywide water outage.  Upon confirmation of this information, a message was sent out to the citizens of Blaine via Facebook, Twitter and NextDoor.com.  The message indicated that the city was aware of the water delivery problem and was working to fix it. 

Soon after, at 9:19am, the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated to assist with the process of restoring water, ensuring fire protection and notifying residents of important information. 

By 9:39am, utility workers activated all city wells including seasonal wells and cross connections with the Cities of Coon Rapids and Spring Lake Park to assist in restoring water service as quickly as possible. There were reports shortly thereafter that people were seeing a return of water to their homes in some areas.

Due to the loss of pressure in the water system, the Minnesota Department of Health required a Boil Advisory on water that was to be used for consumption. The Boil Advisory is a standard procedure and allows time for water testing to be completed. At no time was it believed that the water system had been contaminated. Once it was determined that a Boil Advisory was required, all local media outlets were notified and asked to help get the message out.  A follow-up request asking for the information to be flashed across the bottoms of TV screens to ensure the message was reaching as many people as possible was also enacted. All of the City’s social media applications and the website were used to post several press releases and links to the MN Department of Health in regard to the Boil Advisory.

School Districts were notified and contact with North Memorial Urgency Center in Blaine was made to ensure they were aware of the Boil Advisory. The decisions of what protocols these organizations needed to put in place were left up to the organizations. To ensure that we reached affected restaurants, a press release was hand delivered to as many as possible so Boil Advisory protocol and regulations could be followed.

At 2:10pm, the EOC was notified that the water system was up and functional to the point where fire service was restored.

On January 9, lab results were received and it was learned what was expected – Blaine’s water was normal.

At 4:00pm, a press release was sent ending the Boil Advisory.

The City of Blaine takes this incident very seriously, and a thorough review of practices and procedures is taking place to ensure the city continues to provide the best service to the citizens of Blaine.

Stay connected by following:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blaine.MN/ 
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlaineMinnesota
Nextdoor – https://www.nextdoor.com 

Clark Arneson, City Manager
Monday, January 12, 2017 11:00 AM

View News Release (PDF) 


1/11/2017, 3:45pm - Results of the Minnesota Department of Health Testing

Water Quality Laboratory Report of Analytical Results (PDF)


Effective January 9, 2017, 4:00 pm, the Blaine Boil Advisory is discontinued.

The results of the test performed by a lab certified by the Minnesota Department of Health indicates that there are no safety or contamination issues with the water. Residents and businesses may resume using water for normal day-to-day activities.

For up-to-date information, follow:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blaine.MN/ 
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlaineMinnesota
Nextdoor – https://www.nextdoor.com 

Bob Therres, Public Services Manager/Public Works Director
Monday, January 9, 2017 4:00 PM

View News Release - 2017-01-09 (PDF)


The City of Blaine Boil Advisory is still in effect until water testing is completed.  Testing results are expected late this afternoon, January 9. We will notify residents when we have results.

In addition, Anoka County Community Health and Environmental Services is currently requesting that all food service establishments impacted close until results of the tests are received.

There are no known safety or contamination issues with the water, but as a standard procedure we have put a Boil Water Advisory in place. In the case of a Boil Water Advisory, do not drink the water without boiling it first.

For more information about Community Drinking Water Advisories, please reference Minnesota Department of Health Guidance for the General Public at 

For up-to-date information, follow:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blaine.MN/ 
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlaineMinnesota
Nextdoor – https://www.nextdoor.com

Bob Therres, Public Services Manager/Public Works Director
Sunday January 9, 2017 10:45 AM

View News Release - 2017-01-09 (PDF)

1/8/2017, 6:12pm - Spring Lake Park Schools Update

Due to a water outage in the city of Blaine, there will be no school on Monday, January 9, for students who attend Northpoint Elementary, Westwood Intermediate School and Westwood Middle School. School will be held on a regular schedule at Park Terrace, Woodcrest Spanish Immersion, Lighthouse School and Spring Lake Park High School. Schools in the Anoka-Hennepin and Centennial School Districts (Centennial Elementary and Centennial High School) located in the city of Blaine will also be closed on Monday, January 9. Updates will be shared on Monday as more information becomes available.

1/8/2017, 5:58pm - Centennial Schools Update

Due to the water outage in Blaine, Centennial Elementary and Centennial High School will be closed Monday, January 9. This includes all before and after-school and evening activities at Centennial Elementary School and Centennial High School in addition to Centennial Elementary School Kids Club and the Centennial Elementary School Preschool. All other schools are open and classes are in session.

School will resume Tuesday, January 10.

The high school registration night is also canceled and is rescheduled for Tuesday, January 10, 5pm.


1/8/2017, 2:45pm - Anoka Hennepin School Update

Blaine schools will be closed on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, due to some water testing that needs to take place after an outage. This includes all evening activities at these schools and Adventures Plus before- and after-school care. School will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
If you're a student that attends another school, but gets picked up at a Blaine school, your bus will still be there to transport you.

The closed schools include:
*Jefferson Elementary School
*Johnsville Elementary School
*Madison Elementary School
*University Avenue Elementary School
*Roosevelt Middle School 
*Blaine High School

Please continue to check our website for the latest information.

1/8/2017, 2:30pm - Latest Water Update

As most citizens of the City of Blaine experienced this morning we had a failure of our water delivery system.  Upon learning of this failure we took immediate steps to remedy the problem.  The City’s Emergency Operation Center was opened and staffed, and Blaine Public Works Utility employees came in to help restore water service.  The initial review leads us to believe that this was a failure of software communication systems within the water delivery system, although the review is ongoing.  At this time, the water system is up and running like it should be.  There are no known safety or contamination issues with the water, but as a standard procedure we have put a 24-hour boil requirement on (this requirement is for consumption).   Results of water testing should be available sometime in the late afternoon of January 9, and we will post an update once we receive the testing results. 

As always, check the City of Blaine website, Facebook Page, Nextdoor.com or twitter feed for current updates.

Bob Therres, Public Services Manager/Public Works Director
Sunday January 8, 2017 2:30 PM

View News Release 01-08-2017 (PDF)

1/8/2017, 12:48pm - School Districts Have Been Notified

All School Districts in Blaine have been contacted and they will determine how to handle the situation for students tomorrow.

1/8/2017, 12:11pm - MDH Standard Procedure Boil Water Alert

 If a "Boil Water" advisory is issued, consumers should not drink the water without boiling it first. To disinfect water, bring it to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Let the water cool before using.


1/8/2017, 11:51am - MDH Standard Procedure Boil Water Alert

The Department of Health requires that any time a system loses pressure, it is standard operating procedure to issue a boil alert as a precautionary procedure.

1/8/2017, 10:38am - Blaine PD News Release

This morning the City of Blaine experienced a City-wide loss of water. The Public Works Department is currently working on identifying the problem and solutions. At this time, a
number of wells and pumps are operating and beginning to move water through the system. In addition, we are working to cross-connect with neighboring cities to obtain water. The City of Blaine is filling water towers so limited water pressure will be available soon. We ask Cityresidents to use water sparingly at this time based upon the number of hours it will take to havetowers filled and fully operational. It is important that for at least the next 24 hours, or until otherwise notifiedby the City of Blaine, that residents boil water to ensure it is safe forconsumption.
At this time do we not have further information but we will keep our residents informed as welearn more.
Bob Therres, Public Services Manager/Public Works Director
Sunday January 8, 2017 10:30 AM

View News Release 01-08-2017 (PDF)

1/8/2017, 9:15am - Emergency Operation Center Open

The city of BLAINE is activating their emergency operations center with regards to the water delivery problem. We will get out more information as soon as it is up and running.



We will be unable to respond to all of the questions, please know we are working on this and will provide updates.


Thank you for your patience as we work to resolve this issue.

For up to date information, follow:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/blaine.MN/ 
Twitter – https://twitter.com/BlaineMinnesota
Nextdoor – https://www.nextdoor.com