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Call the Salvation Army at 716-664-4108 to make an appointment. A very short simple form is required stating your hardship with a copy of your BPU bill. The process is quick and easy. The Salvation Army verifies your hardship, then the BPU qualifies your consistent payment record before final approval is made.
The Salvation Army is located at the following location:
81 S Main StreetBrooklyn SquareJamestown, NY 14701
The fund can provide up to a one-time $250 payment on your bill, limited to one payment a year. Aid is one a first-come, first-served basis. At any time, income from the Fund may be depleted and assistance may not be available.
John Alfred Johnson immigrated to Jamestown from Sweden to live near his brother Oscar who worked as a contractor in our area. John worked for a local manufacturer in the day and for Oscar at night.
Although he became an American citizen, John was proud of his Swedish heritage and thought of himself and his friends as the “working man.” He labored hard, saving and investing his money. To take effect upon his death, he created the Johnson Foundation which Jamestown Swedish Consul and Attorney John Sellstrom and his wife Carole, operated in accordance with Johnson’s wishes.
They endowed the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust/BPU Good Neighbor Fund in December, 2014, to be held in perpetuity at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.
All BPU service class 1 and 2 electric customers are eligible for rebates. If you are unsure of your service class, please contact the BPU Customer Service Office at (716) 661-1660.
Upon verification, property owners will receive a check for the approved rebate amount. If the customer’s account is in arrears, a portion or all of the rebate may be applied to the account.
The rebate limit for Heat Pumps is $5,000 per year for property owner.
No, only CEE tiers 1,2,3 air source heat pumps and Energy Star-certified heat pump water heaters qualify for the program.
First, look outside and see if the outage has included your neighbors. If it hasn't, the problem may be within your own home. Check your fuse box or circuit breaker panel to see if you can locate the problem. If the neighboring houses are dark too, look for trees or branches on the lines, downed wires, flashes of light, or any other signs of trouble. Do not touch or attempt to move any electric lines or trees or any other obstacles in contact with electric lines.
When an outage occurs please call the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) at 716-661-1640. During or after a major storm, calling will take a great deal of patience because many other people are also trying to call. It is natural to be tempted to ask how long the power will be out, but it is an almost impossible question to answer. Be assured we will get to you as soon as we can. There is no need to keep calling. However, if your power was restored and then failed again, or if you are in one of those small pockets of dark houses when the rest of the neighborhood has had its power restored, please call again.
Also, tune your battery operated radio to local stations, as we give updates to the public as to the status of repairs.
When an outage occurs or lasts for an extended period of time, a heavy burden is placed on the system at the moment the power is restored. This high demand can cause an overload on the system and you could lose power once again.
Read the following prompts to know what to do with your appliances while waiting for the power to turn back on:
When the one light you have left on glows, you will know that the power has been restored and you may gradually switch your appliances back on and return thermostats to their normal settings.
Public Power is the term used to describe not-for-profit publicly owned electric utilities that are operated by a municipality, county, state or other public body such as a public utility district. Public Power systems are directly accountable to the people they serve.
Private Power sells electricity to make a profit. Profits go to stockholders all over the country. Public power systems are not run to make a profit. All the benefits from public power stay at home in the form of lower rates, improved services, and other community contributions. Public ownership of a utility is like owning your own home. Private ownership is like renting it.
The following are benefits of Public Power:
Public power rates, on a national average, are much lower than rates of private power companies. Residential customers of a private utility pay 30% more than public customers and the average private commercial / industrial customer pays about 10% more than a public customer. This difference has been steady for about the past 50 years.
On a national average, public power systems pay proportionately more of their annual gross electric revenues to the communities in which they operate than do private companies. Payments may be in the form of taxes, tax equivalent or in-lieu-of-tax payments, direct transfers to general funds or contribution of services. Public power systems also play a major role in promoting overall community development. For example, low-cost electric service is an inducement to new business and industry, which broadens the tax base and crates more jobs and local income.
Public power competition gives state and federal regulation more muscle and provides a constant "yardstick" by which to compare private company rates and service. Time and again, private companies have lowered rates or granted concessions to customers when confronted with citizen or local government interest in the public power option.
Consumers set the pace for public power policy making. Policy board meetings are open to the public and consumers have a direct voice in expressing their goals and priorities for the community and its electric utility.
Public power systems are regulated by their consumer-owners through locally elected or appointed officials. In a few states (such as New York), public power is regulated by state utility departments. Some city councils govern their utilities, others are governed by an independent elected or appointed utility board such as the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities. In any case, they are accountable to the citizens they serve.
The recyclable for this week is shown on our homepage. View the recycling calendar (PDF).
You can call the South County Transfer Station at 716-665-6894 to find out their hours.
Corrugated cardboard is defined as “two pieces of heavy paper (usually brown) with a wavy layer in between them.” It is a mandatory recyclable item and must be placed at the curb.
The following is how to recycle specific kinds of cardboard:
Yard Waste should be brought to the Monroe Street Yard Waste Site, located off 8th Street. Visit the Yard Waste page to view more details.
These items may be recycled with newspapers along with junk mail and office paper.
Hard cover books may be discarded in the trash.
Newspapers no longer have to be kept dry when they are placed at the curb, therefore the recycling container is not required to have a lid.
The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) no longer recycles glass.
Currently, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) does not recycle Styrofoam and it should be placed in the trash.
EACH WEEK, YOU MUST PLACE YOUR ORANGE RFID BIN AT THE CURB.
You may use your older yellow bin or separate container (box) marked with “Recycling” or “R” for overflow but the orange bin must be at the curb holding recyclables on your regular recycling day in order to earn the recycling rebate credit on your regular bill.
City of Jamestown residential customers had a recycling rate of only 35%. The BPU encourages customers to increase recycling through this program. Recycling is a requirement made by New York State and is included in the City Charter.
Your recycling container has been assigned to a specific address. If it is lost or stolen, please call the Garbage Hotline.
Residents should contact the Garbage Hotline to report a broken container and to request a replacement.
These customers may sign an affidavit form on our website or in BPU Customer Service. Such customers, while away, will be charged based on their recycling history. If a resident recycles on a regular basis, he /she will be eligible for the credit while out of town.
We continue to look into a single stream recycling program; however, at this time it is not economically feasible. With our current program, we are paid for a portion of our recyclables. In addition, the closest facility that accepts single stream recycling is approximately 40 miles away so we would incur transportation costs as well.
Customers will receive the credit if they recycle at least once during their billing cycle. However, customers are encouraged to recycle every week.
Each unit is assigned its own account number. When distributed, the containers should be clearly marked with the apartment number or letter. The bin stays with the residence even if the customer moves.
Each resident is able to put out additional containers for their recyclables. Containers must be clearly labeled “recycling” for our employees. The old BPU yellow bins, new blue bins or cardboard boxes may be used for additional recycling. The bin with the RFID tag MUST be put at the curb with recycling items to receive the credit. Please do not bag or cover recyclables.
This is a residential recycling program only. Any dwelling that is classified as a commercial building will continue to use the BPU yellow recycling bins.
Residents will need to contact Customer Service or the Garbage Hotline if they have questions regarding their bills. Possible errors will be addressed on a case by case basis.
The current BPU billing system is linked to the recycling software. Once a container is scanned, the credit will be issued to the appropriate customer. If a container is not scanned, a credit will not be issued to that customer.
Non-City customers need to follow BPU policy as long as they are using our service.
For residential accounts where the landlord pays for services, landlords are responsible for their tenants’ recycling. Each apartment receives its own recycling bin to use. The landlord may contact the BPU to determine which tenants are recycling and which are not.
A manual log sheet is available to each driver if the technology is unavailable for any reason. A spare scanner unit also is available to BPU employees for use in the field. The scanners are a part of a cell network and can record any information up until the point when a scanner stops working.
Customer Service representatives as well as the Garbage Hotline and BPU Communications are available on business days to answer any questions or complaints received from the public.
If the assigned bin is not found at your new residence, please contact the BPU Garbage Hotline to order a replacement bin.
The homeowner is responsible for the sewer line from the main line to the house. For more information please contact the Sewer Maintenance Office at 716-661-1652.
Yes. Downspouts, groundwater sump pumps and overflows should all be connected to the storm sewer because this extraneous flow overloads the treatment plant with water that does not need to be treated. The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) advises customers to call their private plumber to rectify their problem.
For more information please contact the Sewer Maintenance Office at 716-661-1652.
We recommend that the property owner install a backwater valve. This will help to prevent further backups from the main line.
It is more costly to treat contaminated water and return it to the environment to meet all of the health requirements.
Jamestown water customers are very fortunate to receive some of the finest and purest artesian well water in the country with only a minimum of added chlorine to disinfect and fluoride to prevent tooth decay. The costs to provide this water are relatively low because it does not require a great deal of treatment before its delivery to your home or business.
Wastewater, on the other hand, requires a great deal of treatment to condition it for return to its place in the hydrologic cycle. That treatment is very expensive and accounts for the higher expense to clean wastewater.
Yes, you will be billed for sewer on the water you use to fill your swimming pool. Your sewer bill is determined by the amount of water that you run through your water meter.
The Department of Environmental Conservation law states that pool water is considered contaminated water (gray water). Pool water contains chemicals that should be emptied directly into the sanitary sewer to be treated properly and not emptied into lawns or the storm sewer.
To see how much those charges will be, run your pool measurements through the usage calculator in the Water Division section of this web site.
On the homeowner's property, this is permissible, but must meet the plumbing code and be inspected. If the repair is on city property the work must be done by a licensed master plumber and a bonded contractor. It is recommended that a licensed plumber do any major repairs or installations.
Yes, provided that you are living in the home and the project should be inspected. For more information please contact the Sewer Maintenance Office at 716-661-1652.
We do have records of sewer lateral connections in the City of Jamestown and the Village of Falconer. However, some connections were never recorded and no information is available.
This information can most likely be determined by calling the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Sewer Maintainence office at 716-661-1652 However, some information from older homes was never recorded.
The greatest likelihood that you will see discolored water is while the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) is flushing in your immediate area on your scheduled flushing day. However, please be aware that you may see discolored water at any time during BPU water main flushing, because of the following reasons:
With this in mind, please be sure to check for discolored water before doing laundry while BPU daytime flushing is taking place. We suggest that you wait to do laundry on days other than your scheduled flushing day, because the discolored water can stain your clothes (especially white and light colored clothing).
If it is your scheduled flushing day, we also recommend that you be careful to check for discolored water before using hot water (e.g. to take a shower) during the hours that flushing is set to occur. It may be best to try to take showers or baths before or after (in the early morning or evening) flushing is set to take place on your scheduled flushing day.
The primary precautions that should be taken during Board of Public Utilities (BPU) water main flushing are to:
If discolored water were to stain your clothes while doing laundry or be pulled into your hot water tank, please see Questions 5 and 6, respectively.
You may also want to check for discolored water before using water for cooking or drinking; we suggest that you store some water a day or so ahead of time so that you have some available for cooking and drinking during your scheduled flushing day. Though discolored water is displeasing to see, please remember that it is safe to drink and to use if needed.
To check for discolored water, turn on the cold-water spigot in either your bath tub or bathroom sink for a couple of minutes. It is easiest to see discolored water in a white tub or sink. If the water is clear after a couple of minutes, it should indicate that the water out in the water main is clear as well, and therefore, you should be able to resume using your water as usual at that time.
However, if the water is discolored after a couple of minutes, turn the water off and wait for an hour or so until you check again. Discolored water may occur for a period of anywhere up to 24 hours, but during flushing, it typically lasts for a few hours. If discolored water were pulled into your home, continue to check for discolored water (once an hour) until you notice clear water running from the spigot. At this point, you can flush out any additional discolored water that may be left in your household plumbing by running cold water from faucets as necessary until the water runs clear from each faucet.
Additionally, before doing your next load of laundry (especially if you will be washing whites or light colors), you can run your washing machine through one cold wash cycle without clothes to flush out any discolored water that may be present in your washing machine or the line feeding your washing machine.
It is generally safe to use and flush your toilet during daytime flushing, even on your scheduled flushing day. If you flush your toilet and see discolored water, continue to use and flush your toilet throughout the day as needed. Once the water settles in the main (which may take some time), you will eventually draw clear water into your household plumbing again and the discolored water will clear from your toilet.
Do not dry the clothes or they will become permanently stained when dried.
Commercial rust removers are available to you free-of-charge at the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Customer Service, the Jamestown City Hall Clerk’s Office or at Town and Village offices (Towns of Ellicott and Busti; Villages of Falconer, Celoron, Lakewood). You may also buy such products in stores.
When your water clears (refer to Question 3), re-wash your clothes using the rust remover - there are instructions on the packet or bottle.
If you are using hot water and see that it is discolored, we recommend that you stop using the water at that time. Following the steps described under Question 3, continue to check for discolored water using a cold-water spigot until you see that the water has cleared. At this point, you have a couple of different options.
First, if you use hot water and see that it is still discolored, you can wait until the sediment settles in your tank (wait for a couple of hours if possible) before you check the hot water again. The sediment in the discolored water will eventually settle to the bottom of the tank. Please note that if you continue to use the hot water even though it is discolored, it will only keep the sediment stirred in the tank rather than allowing it to settle. The sediment can be removed later on by flushing your hot water tank (it is recommended that a hot water tank be flushed annually). If you do not know how to properly flush your hot water tank, you can hire a professional to help you in this process.
The second option is to flush your hot water tank the day that the discolored water is drawn into the tank. This would need to be completed only after you ensure that the water coming from a cold-water spigot in your home is clear; you would not want to re-fill your tank with discolored water if the water has not yet settled in the water main.
Yes, discolored water is safe to drink and to use, just displeasing to see. The water is treated with chlorine which keeps the water safe and remains in the water even if discolored.
We recommend that you store some water a day or so ahead of time so that you have some available for drinking and cooking during your scheduled flushing time.
Water main flushing is a process that is performed nationally. Our water distribution system is older and has unlined cast iron pipes. Water flowing through the iron pipes leads to rust build-up in the pipes; this is in addition to the build-up of sediment and minerals that naturally occur in the water.
Therefore, the BPU performs hydrant flushing twice a year to clean out the rust and sediment from the pipes. This allows for greater water flow through the pipes and allows the flushing operators to perform valve and hydrant inspections for fire protection.
The BPU flushes during the daytime primarily because of increased visibility and safety. Better visibility during the day allows operators to more effectively monitor the clarity of the water flowing from the hydrant and track the flow of the water in an effort to avoid property damage.
Also, operators can see and be seen better during the day which is safer for all of those involved.
Did you use water during your scheduled flushing time and was the water discolored? If so, the sediment in the discolored water may have clogged the screen (or aerator) in the faucet and it needs to be cleared.
If that is not the issue, then please contact Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Customer Service for assistance at (716)661-1660.