Vacation Hotspot Provincetown, Mass., Declares Sewer Emergency: 'Only Flush When Absolutely Necessary'

·2 min read
Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA - July 30, 2020: Street scene in Provincetown, MA on Cape Cod in historic tourist district with people visible.
Provincetown, Massachusetts, USA - July 30, 2020: Street scene in Provincetown, MA on Cape Cod in historic tourist district with people visible.

Getty

A sewer emergency in Provincetown, Mass., has forced all restaurants and food businesses in the affected area to close up shop.

The town's emergency alert notified residents that they "are declaring a sewer emergency for properties on the vacuum sewer system," listing the streets affected. The report went on to say, "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," the alert notification stated.

RELATED: People Using T-Shirts in Place of Toilet Paper May Have Clogged Calif. Sewer System, City Says

Continuing, "Any residential property on this system must reduce water use, including dishwashing, laundry, showering, and only flush when absolutely necessary."

Provincetown Seen from Pilgrim Monument on Cape Cod
Provincetown Seen from Pilgrim Monument on Cape Cod

Getty

RELATED: 13-Year-Old Boy Who Survived 12 Hours in L.A. Sewer Pipe Speaks Out

It also reported the closure of all public restrooms today and tomorrow, noting that 18 porta-potties would be arriving in the town by today.

According to Boston.com, the Cape Cod town's central vacuum station began experiencing problems on Tuesday afternoon when thunderstorms caused electrical damage to the downtown sewer system. Local wastewater treatment facility teams have been making repairs since.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

The outlet said that the town had "stabilized" the system on Wednesday, but that they needed to continue repairs since a "larger than normal wastewater volume [was] sent into the sewer system," impeding their progress.

The emergency alert stated that they will continue to update the town on the situation for the next 48 hours, concluding with, "We want to thank everyone for their continued patience and cooperation."

Located at the very tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is a popular warm weather vacation spot for New Englanders, known for its beautiful beaches and historic charm. It's a famously LGBTQ+ friendly destination and hosts special events throughout the year.