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Provincetown sewer system mostly restored after 36 hours

Provincetown sewer system restored
Provincetown sewer system restored 00:23

PROVINCETOWN -  The sewer emergency in Provincetown has been resolved after approximately 36 hours. Town Manager Alex Morse said the central vacuum sewer system was restored at about 6:00 p.m. Friday night.

Morse said residents can return to normal water use. Customers in the downtown area are asked to refrain from large water uses right away. 

The emergency declaration for those using the vacuum sewer system came Thursday morning, during the busy tourist season. It impacted mostly properties on Commercial and Bradford streets.

If the system remains stable overnight, restaurants and businesses may resume normal operation Saturday morning. 

The affected vacuum sewer system is highlighted in brown.  Provincetown Town Manager

Restaurants and food service businesses in the area were ordered to close, and affected residents were told to reduce water use, "including dishwashing, laundry, showering, and only flushing when absolutely necessary."

Public restrooms were closed, and portable toilets were brought in next to the town hall.

Next week is the Carnival celebration, which attracts tens of thousands to Provincetown.

"I know it's a hard ask and a difficult time of the year, but if we can limit it to up to two days and ahead of Carnival, that's a better outcome letting these guys get in the streets and make these repairs than having to shut down for the next week," the Provincetown Health Department's Lezli Rowell said. 

Restaurant owners said the sewer emergency hurt business. 

"For two years, we had to deal with the COVID thing," said Steven Schnitzer who owns JDs. 

"You have basically 10 Saturdays in the summer which are your best days," Schnitzer said. "You lose a Saturday, you're really, really, in trouble."

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