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Provincetown sewer emergency: Restaurants ordered to close, ‘only flush when absolutely necessary’

By WBZ Staff

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    PROVINCETOWN (WBZ) — Provincetown has declared a sewer emergency, ordering some restaurants to close during the busy tourist season and residents to reduce their water use as crews work to repair a problem that’s been ongoing for days.

The emergency impacts properties on the vacuum sewer system – it doesn’t apply to customers on the gravity system or to places with on-site septic systems. It could take up to 48 hours to fix the system, the town said.

The affected areas are on Commercial Street from Snow Street to Point Street, and Bradford Street between Conwell Street and Prince Street.

“Any restaurant or food service business in this service area will need to cease operations immediately,” the town said in an alert. “This is necessary to prevent a further public health emergency caused by sewer overflows, and we need to drastically reduce flow to allow the critical repair work in order to get the town back to full capacity.”

Affected residents are being told they “must reduce water use, including dishwashing, laundry, showering, and only flush when absolutely necessary.”

Public restrooms will be closed Thursday and Friday. The town has ordered 18 portable toilets, which will be located on Ryder Street next to town hall.

A line could be seen forming next to one portable toilet at 11 a.m.

Town Manager Alex Morse previously said that thunderstorms on Tuesday caused electrical issues at the central vacuum station, which runs the downtown sewer system.

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