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The original item was published from 8/12/2022 3:03:00 PM to 8/12/2022 5:15:53 PM.

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Posted on: August 11, 2022


Update as of 12:15pm: We continue to make progress and we are moving in the right direction. Crews are swiftly advancing through the West End right now and we are hopeful that we are getting closer to full restoration, but we can't say for sure until every part of the system has been addressed. We will provide another update around 5pm later this afternoon, or sooner if we have a significant update on the status of the system. 


Update as of 3:45pm: The restoration of the downtown vacuum system continues to progress. Throughout the day the system has maintained stable operation as additional areas have been brought online. We anticipate restoration of the system to be completed later today. In order to sustain stable operation of the system, we are in the process of developing recommendations for a return to normal operations over the next 12-16 hours.

At this time, we have determined that any restaurant or food service business in this service area needs to remained closed for the rest of the day, except for the sale of prepackaged, ready to eat food. Further guidance and next steps for both residential and commercial properties will be provided in the next update this evening, around 8:30pm.

Please note that the sewer emergency for properties on the vacuum sewer system is still in place at this time. This includes 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. For complete list of properties impacted on the vacuum system, follow this link:

A reminder that the restrictions do not apply to sewer customers that are on our gravity system, nor does it apply to properties with on-site septic systems.

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

If you are having a sewer emergency, call the answering service at 508-487-5474 and leave a message. We will get back to you as soon as we can.




CLARIFICATION regarding retail food sales: IMPORTANT Sewer emergency message: Food Service licensees in Vacuum Sewer areas and public restrooms are closed pending essential repairs 

After internal staff consideration here is a CLARIFICATION on the closure: 

  • All restaurant food preparation operations and bars are closed.
  • ONLY retail sales of commercially pre-packaged ready to eat food items is permitted in the vacuum sewer system area, until further notice.

 Please understand that these measures are absolutely necessary to get repairs made quickly.

Without absolute cooperation the emergency conditions will take longer to resolve.

 While retail shops and other attractions outside of food licensing are not required to close at this time, they are encouraged to limit staff, limit hours or close up shop.

Open Facilities Locations

  • MacMillan Parking Lot
  • Grace Hall Parking Lot
  • Court Street Landing
  • Johnson Street Parking Lot
  • East End Playground
  • West End Playground
  • Motta Field
  • Ryder Street (11)
  • Cannery Wharf Park
  • Beach Forest Parking Lot

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