PROVINCETOWN, Mass. — Restaurants were told to cease operations immediately and residents were ordered to limit water use after a Cape Cod town declared a sewer emergency, officials announced Thursday.
The emergency impacts all businesses and homes on Provincetown’s vacuum sewer system, including properties on Commercial Street from Snow Street to Point Street, and properties on the sewer system on Bradford Street between Conwell Street and Prince Street, according to the town.
In a statement, town officials said, “Any restaurant or food service business in this service area will need to cease operations immediately. 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.”
Residents must also drastically reduce water use, including dishwashing, laundry, showering, and only flush when absolutely necessary, town officials added.
All public restrooms have been closed and 18 porta-o-potties will be placed on Ryder Street near Provincetown Town Hall.
Repairs on the system are expected to take up to 48 hours.
The emergency does not apply to sewer customers that are on Provincetown’s gravity system, nor does it apply to properties with on-site septic systems, Town Manager Alex Morse said.
The incident comes just days before Provincetown’s Carnival summer celebration. The weeklong festival typically attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.
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