Reservoir OK after Trespass Busts

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 @ 04:05 PM gHale


The water tested safe, but state police are increasing their patrols at water supply facilities after they nabbed seven people for trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir in Belchertown, MA.

The reservoir is the primary drinking water source of Boston and 40 other communities is safe.

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“As an extra precaution, water quality samples were analyzed at MWRA’s lab (Tuesday) and all came back normal,” said Ria Convery of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. “There is no evidence of any water quality issues at the Quabbin Reservoir following the trespassing incident.”

State police alerted the Springfield office of the FBI, which is investigating the five men and two women, who are from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.

“There was no evidence of terrorism or any crime committed beyond the trespassing,” said state police spokesman David Procopio.

The seven, who a state trooper came upon parked in two cars at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, said they were chemical engineers and recent college graduates. They told the trooper they wanted to see the Quabbin because of their career interests, Procopio said.

“The Commonwealth Fusion Center was notified of the incident and provided with the identification of the seven individuals,” Procopio said. A preliminary background check for warrants and Interpol Wanted Persons turned up no warrants, detainers or advisories and police allowed the group to leave.

“Further investigation is being undertaken because of the late hour when they were observed, their curious explanation for why they wanted to see the reservoir, and the fact that they were in an area marked no trespassing,” Procopio said.

Procopio said the individuals live in Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland, Northampton and New York City.

Quabbin water undergoes testing continuously for its biological, chemical and physical properties, Convery said, adding, “any abnormalities are detected immediately.”
A court date for the trespassers has not been set, according to the court clerk’s office.



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