The Jamestown Board of Public Utilities recently announced its 2014 Residential Dual Meter Program to help reduce sewer bills for outside watering needs. For the 12th year, the utility provides this service for BPU residential water and wastewater customers whose accounts are current.
The BPU, like most other cities, uses the water meter in your home to determine charges for sanitary sewers. The assumption is that most of the water used in your home eventually flows into a sanitary sewer (for example, showers, clothes washing, dishwashing and toilets). Therefore your water and sewer bill has two rates, one for water and one for sewer/wastewater. However, water that is used outside to water lawns doesn't end up in the sewers. Therefore, if you use a lot of outside water, you are paying sewer charges for water that doesn't end up in the sewers.
In an effort to save you money, the BPU allows the installation of a dual meter that attaches to an outside house spigot on one end and to a garden hose on the other end. When your water and sewer bill comes, the sewer rate will only be charged on that water that is used in the house.
The BPU Dual Meter program runs in monthly increments for ease of billing from May 1 through Sept. 30. An initial deposit of $50 is required when the customer picks up the meter. The deposit will be refunded to the customer's water account after the program ends on Sept. 30 and after the dual water meter has been returned in good working order to BPU Customer Service.
To participate in the Residential Dual Meter Program, a customer must have both water and sewer service through the Jamestown BPU. Due to the limited number of dual meters, only one meter is allowed per residential customer.
The customer's water account will be charged a fee of $7.50 for the first month the customer has the dual meter. The customer will be charged $2 for each month beyond the first month that the dual meter is used. At the end of the program, the customer's sewer credit will be calculated and applied to the sewer account.
Customers with dual meters must return the meter to the BPU Customer Service by Oct. 10, or deposits could be forfeited along with any sewer credit earned. If the meter is damaged, the deposit will be used to defray the costs to repair the meter.
Rebecca Robbins, BPU communications coordinator, said, "This program will be most helpful for those residential water/wastewater customers who accumulate a sewer credit of more than eight units per month, which would probably be a residential customer who is doing extensive landscaping or watering a newly planted lawn."
Residential dual meters are available at the BPU Customer Service, 92 Steele St., open 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays. For questions, call 661-1660 or 661-1680.