Officials investigate Quabbin Reservoir trespassing

BELCHERTOWN, Mass (WHDH) — Massachusetts State Police and the FBI are investigating a possible security breach at the Quabbin Reservoir near Belchertown after authorities found seven people trespassing there.

State Police said 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.

Police said the male individuals claimed to be chemical engineers and were there for educational reasons. The individuals told state police they were recent college graduates from UMass Amherst and Smith College.

Officers on scene checked the vehicles, persons, and the park area and did not find anything suspicious. There was no evidence the seven were committing any crime beyond trespassing, according to police.

The Commonwealth Fusion Center was notified of the incident and provided with the identification of the seven individuals. State police said they are from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Singapore with addresses in Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland and Northampton, and New York City. Police said law enforcement databases show no warrants, detainers or advisories on them.

State police notified the FBI’s Springfield Office, which sent agents to the Belchertown Barracks to assist in the follow up investigation. State police said it’s increasing the number of routine checks at water supply facilities around the state.

The seven people will be summonsed to Eastern Hampshire District Court for the trespassing offense.

There is no evidence of terrorism.

The reservoir supplies drinking water to the Boston area. Officials said there is no danger to the drinking water.

MWRA released the following statement:

“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.”