City looks to provide alternate power source for water

CLEVELAND (AP) - Mayor Jane Campbell said the city will consider providing a backup electric power source to run water system pumps in the event of another blackout.

The proposal outlined Monday calls for linking city-owned Cleveland Public Power generators used only during peak hours to the water department's pumping stations.

All four water pumping stations were knocked out of service by Thursday's blackout, cutting water service to 1.5 million people.

Electric and water service were restored by Friday.

The backup generators could supply enough power to keep three of four water plants operating and deliver water throughout the region if there is another blackout, Campbell said.

City engineers tried the tactic during the power failure but it wouldn't work if they are disconnected from the regional power grid, as they were Thursday. Engineers are studying how to get the backup generators to operate free from the grid.

Campbell expects a preliminary report on a backup power system by December.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)