The popular town of Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, ordered its food establishments to close along a busy section of the waterfront after thunderstorms brought “larger than normal wastewater volume” and overtaxed the sewer system.
On Thursday, August 11th, restaurants closed and Provincetown officials also said in a Facebook post that residential properties that use the same sewer system must also decrease water usage, including flushing the toilets only “when absolutely necessary.”
According to AP News, “officials said that all public restrooms will also be shuttered Thursday and Friday and that portable toilets will be provided.” The Provincetown officials said, “the sewer shutdown, coming during the peak summer season, was necessary to prevent a further public health emergency.”
According to the Town of Provincetown Facebook page, officials said “We need to drastically reduce flow to allow the critical repair work in order to get the town back to full capacity. We are estimating that we need up to 48 hours to make the repairs and get the system back to normal.”
An update on the page on Tuesday, August 16th said the sewer system is now “in stable operation since full flow was returned on Saturday morning.” At that time the residents and business owners of the town were all told they could return to normal water usage and that the emergency order had been lifted.
According to the Provincetown website, there is a Water and Sewer Board meeting on Wednesday, August 17th and it is likely to be attended by some very concerned business owners and residents alike.