BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) - After a thorough investigation, Massachusetts State Police and the FBI released a statement Thursday saying they have determined there was no threat to public safety at the Quabbin Reservoir. Still, new protocol is being put in place after seven people were found at the reservoir in a restricted area around 12:30am Tuesday.
Massachusetts State Police have increased the number of checks on water facilities around the state.
There are clearly marked signs reading "no trespassing" in areas around the reservoir. The incident triggered an alert to the FBI's Springfield office and triggered alarm from nearby residents.
Samantha Adamson of Belchertown said, "I was really surprised. I guess you just never think so close to home that possibly something like that could happen."
It was revealed later the trespassers were from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Singapore but residents say anyone near the Quabbin at that hour would cause alarm.
"I think it's reasonable for anybody that's going to be walking around in the woods to be investigating. Well what were you doing here after hours. It's posted everywhere that this closes after dark," said Mandy Ritter of Belchertown.
The reservoir is the main drinking water source for Boston and other cities around Western Massachusetts.
The Quabbin can hold up to 412 billion gallons of water so officials say it would take tens of thousands of gallons of concentrated chemicals to create any type of impact.
Water samples showed no abnormalities after the group was spotted but State Police say they will be increasing routine checks at the reservoir and other water supply facilities around the state.
Individuals say that's warranted and they'll be keeping an eye out as well. "I think that for right now people will be paying attention a lot more to what's around them, who's around them when they're visiting the Quabbin," said Adamson.
The seven people will be summonsed to Eastern Hampshire District Court for a hearing on trespassing allegations. The names will not be released until the court hears evidence determining whether the trespassing charges should be issued against them.