Blaine discontinues boil water advisory; classes resume Tuesday

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.


The city of Blaine lifted its boil water advisory at 10:39 p.m. Monday night after the Minnesota Department of Health determined there were no contamination  or safety issues with the water.

With the boil water advisory lifted, classes in all Blaine schools resumed Tuesday.

“Residents and businesses may resume using water for normal day-to-day activities,” the city of Blaine said in a statement.

This was the second time this year Blaine residents have experienced water supply problems that have resulted in a boil water advisory.

On the morning of Sunday, Jan. 8, residents woke up to find no water running from their faucets. It was later determined that a software problem prevented the city’s water towers to refill after water was being used. The alarm system also failed to alert public works staff.

City Manager Clark Arneson said it has been determined what caused the software problem, but he could not provide additional comments at this time. He said Minnesota Data Practices Act prohibits him from commenting on any personnel matters.

The Blaine City Council has a closed session scheduled Thursday, Feb. 16 in which the topic is “preliminary consideration of allegations against an individual.”

In the second water supply incident that happened on Feb. 11 but the city did not become aware of until Feb. 12, Arneson said water pressure loss was due to an internal power supply failure at its water tower at Aquatore Park. This power supply failure disrupted the utility communications system.

Arneson said it appears this power supply failure happened mid-day Saturday. As water demand increased during the day and into the evening on Sunday, the system was unable to activate additional pumps and failed to send out water tower level alarms to on-call staff.

Arneson said these two incidents are not related.

“The first incident is a software related issue. The second is a mechanical-electrical issue,” he said.

The Blaine Police Department has found no criminal actions to disrupt water service to the city of Blaine, according to Arneson.

The city of Blaine says the power supply has been replaced and additional redundancies are being put into place. It is working with outside experts to audit the utility system for technology and security improvements that can be made.