By Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Following a citywide water outage Sunday morning, officials in Blaine are telling residents to boil any tap water they use as service returns.

The water problems began around 8 a.m. for the city of 57,000 that lies about 15 miles north of Minneapolis. Mayor Tom Ryan initially suspected a water main break, but it later turned out to be a system failure, the exact cause of which is yet unknown.

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In the 31 years he’s been with the city government, Ryan says he’s never seen anything like this.

Currently, the water that is supplying the city is coming from a connection with Coon Rapids, the mayor said. Throughout the day, emergency crews will be filling water towers to restore water pressure.

Residents are asked to use water sparingly as service returns. Officials say that for the next 24 hours, any tap water should be boiled before use to ensure it’s safe to consume. (For instructions on how to follow the boil order, click here.)

Officials say that all area school districts have been alerted to the problem and will determine how to handle the situation for students on Monday.

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Amid the lack of water service, area residents reported on social media that they were using bottled water to get by. Some businesses also announced via social media that they would be closed Sunday.

Robert Therres, the public services manager with the City of Blaine, said the water problem is likely due to a glitch in their computer communication system.

“Basically people were not receiving water because there was no water to receive.  Our towers were empty so we needed to build those up and recharge the system,” Therres said.

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Water has been restored in the city, but the 24-hour boil order remains in effect.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield