No contamination after teens broke into town’s supply

BLACKSTONE, Mass. (AP) – Tests found no evidence of chemical contamination in the town’s drinking water supply after three teenagers allegedly broke into a water storage facility, authorities said Wednesday.

Blackstone’s nearly 9,000 residents and dozens of homes in neighboring Smithfield, R.I., had been under a water ban after the break-in Monday. Authorities said the facility’s alarm system had been cut, the water tank tampered with and a container with a strange odor left behind.

The three teenagers became suspects after talking about the incident at school, Blackstone police Lt. Gregory Gilmore said Wednesday.

Two 15-year-old boys have been charged with malicious destruction of property, tampering with a public water supply and polluting the water supply, all felonies, and trespassing, Gilmore said. Their names were not released because of their ages. A summons was issued to a 15-year-old girl suspected of trespassing.

“We’re pleased at least that there is no contamination present in the system,” Town Administrator Ray Houle said Wednesday afternoon.

Health officials were awaiting results of tests to see if flushing the system had released any bacteria into the water. Authorities urged residents to continue boiling their water until given the all-clear.

There were no reports of illness. Schools and many businesses had closed Wednesday while awaiting the test results.

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