Outages & Service Problems

The most efficient way to report an electrical outage is to call 731-642-1322 and press 8. During a power outage, our automated OUTAGE system searches phone numbers we have on file to identify service addresses that are out of power. It’s important to keep your contact information current!   The Board of Public Utilities makes every possible effort to provide inexpensive and reliable electric and water service to our customers.  However, on occasion a power outage affecting you may occur.  Some of the most common reasons for outages are automobile accidents involving power poles, fallen trees, tree limbs on the lines, storms, and animal contacts.  Listed below are a few tips if a power outage should occur at your home or business:

  • Supplies to keep on hand
    • FLASHLIGHT WITH FRESH BATTERIES
      MATCHES
      CANDLES
      SPARE FUSES
      PORTABLE RADIO WITH FRESH BATTERIES
  • Check fuses or breakers in your switch box panel.  If fuses or breakers are okay, call BPU.  Be prepared to give your name, telephone number, address, and if you heard any loud noises, saw flashes of light, or any specific information to determine the problem quicker.
  • Main disconnect switches may be located outside under the meter base, or at another location in your home.
  • Check to see if your neighbors’ lights are off.  Even if your neighbor’s lights are on, don’t hesitate to call BPU.
  • Turn off all major electrical appliances that were on when the power went off, especially air conditioners or electric heating.  You will want to leave one light switch on so you will know when your power has been restored.
  • STAY AWAY FROM DOWNED POWER LINES or any type of utility equipment.  Please note the location of the downed line or poles and call BPU.  Even lines that look harmless can be dangerous.
  • In the event of a major outage caused by an ice storm, tornado or some other natural disaster, BPU will broadcast messages with all information that is available.
  • If your power is still out once your neighbor’s homes have been returned to service, you should contact BPU.
  • Food will last much longer in your refrigerator and freezer if the door is not opened.  Please do not open the door to check on the contents.
  • Make sure that each member of your family knows where your power outage kit is located and what to do if an outage occurs when you’re not home.
To report a security or street light outage, please call our main office at (731) 642-1322, and speak to the operator.  The light can usually be fixed within 3-4 working days.
For all water problems, please call (731) 642-1322 and speak with an operator.  Do not leave a voicemail.  BPU should be notified if the customer has no water, low water pressure, or water quality issues.

If water at the home needs to be turned off because of burst pipes, leaks, etc., the customer should:

  1. Attempt to find a cut-off valve on the customer’s side of their water meter and possibly another cut-off valve at the customer’s house or building.
  2. If the customer does not have or can’t find their cut-off valve(s) and a plumber is on site, the plumber may cut off the water by using the BPU cut off valve located on the BPU side of the water meter.
  3. If a plumber is not available, the customer may contact BPU during normal business hours. BPU personnel will turn the water off at the BPU water meter.
  4. After hours and on weekends/holidays, BPU will respond to cut water off only in extreme emergencies. If not an emergency, customer should contact a plumber.

During extreme cold weather periods, please consider the following tips to prevent freezing of water pipes within your home:

  • Make sure the foundation to your house or mobile home is air-tight and that foundation vents are closed
  • Disconnect garden hoses
  • Leave a small stream of hot and cold water running from an inside faucet (when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Make sure you and your family know the location of your home’s water shut-off valve. If a pipe bursts, shutting off the water promptly can help minimize damage.

When calling (731) 642-1322 to report wastewater problems, please speak with an operator.  Do not leave a voicemail.

  • Wastewater line stoppage DURING BUSINESS HOURS:
    Call BPU to report the line stoppage.  BPU personnel will respond to determine if the BPU sewer main has a blockage.  If so, BPU will clear the main.  If the main is clear, the customer will be instructed to call a plumber to unstop the service line.  The customer/plumber is responsible for cleaning the service line from the house all the way to the BPU sewer main (even if the service line extends into or across the street).
  • Wastewater line stoppage AFTER BUSINESS HOURS (including weekends and holidays):
    Call a plumber to clean out the sewer service line all the way to the main.  Once the service line is cleaned and a stoppage still exists, call BPU to report the problem.  BPU personnel will respond to address any problems with the main sewer line.  The BPU crew will not clean out the service line.  The BPU crew will only address problems in the main sewer line.
  • For EMERGENCIES:
    If wastewater is backing up into the customer’s home, please call BPU to report IMMEDIATELY.
  • If a sewer service line is broken underneath the street or sidewalk and needs to be repaired, BPU personnel will perform the repair.  All other repairs to service lines are the responsibility of the homeowner.