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LIVE FROM THE HEADLINES

Interview With Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell

Aired August 15, 2003 - 20:12   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: In Cleveland tonight, the biggest concern of course remains water. I'm joined now by the Mayor of Cleveland Jane Campbell. Mayor Campbell thanks very much for joining us. We've heard these horror stories about the water supply in Cleveland. How bad is it?
MAYOR JANE CAMPBELL, CLEVELAND, OHIO: Well, we serve a million and a half people with our water system and we estimate that nearly a million people were without water at some point either last night or during the day today.

We are happy to report that now all of our water customers are now fully powered. They are getting water but we also are advising everyone, except those who are at the lowest level right by the lake who never did lose their water that everyone else will have to be on a boil alert.

They'll have to boil their water for four minutes just to make sure that it's clear until we get the tests back from the EPA that show that our water is appropriate and expect that to be sometime in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday.

BLITZER: Mayor why is Cleveland having such a difficult time with water? In New York City they weren't having that much of a problem, most of the other areas not. Why is Cleveland different?

CAMPBELL: Our water system is basically four pumping stations and we pump the water directly out of Lake Erie and then as it's distributed through 5,000 miles of pipe, if you think about it we've got as many miles of pipe distributing water under the streets of Cleveland as there is from sea to shining sea, and what happens is that we've also got the element of gravity involved here.

The lake is lower and you move into higher ground as you have the population move and so obviously the pumps have to move it uphill and those pumps are electrical pumps.

BLITZER: All right, Mayor Jane Campbell good luck to you. Good luck to all our friends in Cleveland. You guys got a tough task ahead of you.

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