BPU Announces Spring Holiday Schedule
Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) offices will be closed on Friday, April 3, in recognition of Good Friday but it is not a holiday for Solid Waste employees. Friday garbage and recycling collection will take place as usual on Friday.
Regular Customer Service Office hours resume at 7 a.m. on Monday, April 6.
Customers who need to pay bills after-hours may leave checks in drop-off boxes located at the top of the BPU’s “D” driveway, 92 Steele Street; outside City Hall on Tracy Plaza; inside the vestibule of the Jamestown Police Department entrance on Second Street; and outside the Town of Ellicott Building in Falconer. Payments left after-hours should only be made by check.
Customers are reminded that on-line payments may be made by credit card, debit card and e-check at www.jamestownbpu.com.
For reports of trouble in all BPU Divisions after hours, customers may call 661-1640.
BPU WATER CUSTOMERS
The frost line is 4 feet down from the ground, causing main breaks and frozen water lines into houses. Even if it warms up, please run a pencil-then trickle of water from faucets in your home, especially in a sink or tub located close to an exterior wall to prevent the frozen and broken pipes and the inconvenience of no water in your home. We need to do this until the ground warms.
The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Water Department, facing more frozen water services to homes and businesses than ever, alerts water customers to help prevent going without water for an extended period of time.
According to Water Division engineers, the Water Department is finding frost 50 inches or 4’ 2” below ground, the same area where water mains and service lines are buried. In some cases, water lines may be laying in a bed of ice. If the water is not moving all the time, the water in that line will freeze.
When a water line freezes, the frozen water expands and may break the pipe, causing a leak when the line thaws. If the break occurs on the owner’s side of the water stop, usually located in the terrace area between the sidewalk and street, the owner is responsible to have the pipe replaced or repaired. These repairs could cost thousands of dollars.
A 1/32 inch stream of water running twenty four hours a day would cost 53 cents a day in Jamestown, a small price to pay for the convenience of having water running in your home and not having to repair a costly leak. Customers are advised to run a small stream especially during extended times of non-use, such as during the night. If a customer chooses not to run the water in the day, they are advised to run the water hard several times throughout the day and night to clear the line of ice build-up.
BPU officials note that, even if air temperatures start to warm, ground temperatures may take several weeks of warm weather before the frost comes out of the ground. The BPU will issue public service announcements to keep customers informed of how deep the frost line is and when it is safe to stop running water.
Interior plumbing also can freeze. It is recommended to be sure all basement windows are closed so that your water pipes are not exposed to cold air. Open cabinets under sinks at night so that warm air may circulate under the sinks where pipes are located against exterior walls of your house.
What to do if your service or pipes freeze?
Should customers find that their water services are frozen, they may call the BPU to be placed on a waiting list to have the line thawed using an electrical current. The owner will be required to sign a damage waiver prior to the Water Department’s attempt to thaw the water service. The wait time for this service is approximately three days as of this date, even with two crews working continuously. As a result, customers need to arrange for bottled water for drinking and cooking; and melted snow for flushing toilets. Someone is required to be present at the building when the BPU attempts to thaw a water service.
Some plumbers have equipment to thaw frozen water services for a fee. The plumbers’ response times may be less than that of the BPU. The Water Department will thaw a frozen water service at no charge the first time it freezes. After that, the BPU will charge $100 for each time that crews return to thaw the same service.
Should customers need help to thaw frozen water services or pipes, they may call BPU Customer Service at 661-1660 from 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. weekdays. The number for “after hours” is 661-1640, the utility trouble line.
“Share Your City”
By connecting and sharing information about Jamestown and its attractions and accommodations, the community can work together and be advocates of their city and attract tourism into our streets, shops, restaurants, and attractions. Let’s help put Jamestown on the map.
To Share Your City, please connect with Jamestown Up Close on Facebook, on Twitter @JTownUpClose, join our website mailing list, and write a letter or send a post card from Jamestown.Start by visiting
BPU Online Account Access and Payment Options
BPU Customers may pay bills online with e-checks, debit cards and credit cards. Once registered for the service, customers also may access account information such as meter readings, consumption history and past bills.
Customers may register for online access to their accounts by logging in at
https://account.jamestownbpu.com or by clicking the “Access BPU Account” link under “Quick Links” in the upper right hand corner of the homepage, and following directions.
All online users will need their BPU customer numbers to register. The customer number includes the six digits beginning with the number one (1) that appears after the dash of the account number printed on the bill.
An e-check works similar to a paper check, but without the need for a check to actually be written and processed by the recipient’s bank. When the customer authorizes an e-check payment, it is processed as a debit transaction using the routing and account number of the checking account. The amount that is debited by this transaction is then transferred to the BPU account in much the same ways as if a paper check had been written.
To provide feedback or to request assistance with the process, customers may contact Customer Service at 661-1660 or Communications at 661-1680.