The city of Marco Island staff have begun a new restaurant/food service seating plan verification process for businesses and organizations within the city service areas. This new process includes a visit from a city staff member to verify that an establishment’s seating and use are in line with paid impact fees and that any grease traps are compliant to state of Florida guidelines. Other areas of inspection will include spacing of seats and isles to ensure compliance with ADA standards.
Furthermore, it is the city’s intent to obtain an indoor and outdoor seating plan of each establishment as part of this program to help maintain appropriate records. This includes, but may not be limited to, restaurants, churches and club facilities.
The reason for the new process? Fats, oils and grease (FOG) from food service facilities can be overlooked in grease traps and end up in the city wastewater system. FOG can clog wastewater collection and treatment systems causing sewage spills, manhole overflows and sewage system backups in homes and businesses. The State of Florida Department of Health requires the minimum size of any grease interceptor to be no less than 750 gallons. Grease traps installed prior to 2012 may be grandfathered into 2007 regulations, which offer a 25 percent reduction if the establishment is connected to public services. Florida Department of Health required standards for grease interceptors can be found at: http://www.floridahealth.gov/healthy-environments/onsite-sewage/_documents/coded-rule.pdf.
Businesses can expect a Marco Island staff member to visit their facility during regular business hours over the next few months to verify their current food service seating arrangements. After the verification is complete and after a decision is made as to whether or not there is compliance at a particular establishment, the qualified businesses will have a period of one year to become compliant in the Grease Trap Pilot Program. If they do not choose to participate, or do not qualify for the Grease Trap Pilot Program, the business will have to comply with current standards within a specified amount of time. City officials ask establishments to remember that it is their responsibility to maintain and clean their own grease trap or interceptor systems. Maintenance also should be regularly scheduled and documented.
For questions regarding ADA standards and specifications or those concerning grease trap interceptors less than 750 gallons, please contact the city’s Chief Building Official Jack McStravic at email@example.com or 239-389-5058. For questions concerning grease trap interceptors 750 gallons and larger, please contact Bart Bradshaw, manager of collections and distributions, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-389-5187.
For additional questions about Marco Island’s wastewater and water reclamation facility systems, please contact Jim Lang, customer service manager, at email@example.com or 239-389-5190, or Joseph Irvin, interim director of community affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-389-3990 with any general questions or comments.