Earlier this week, the city of Marco Island and its subcontractor Shenandoah Construction began scheduled maintenance on the city’s underground gravity sewer utility systems. Residences in the northeast corner of the island will be impacted by the 60- to 90-day project, and a door hanger will be left at each home indicating to homeowners that work is scheduled to begin.
It is important to note that homeowners may experience surges in their household plumbing systems when work is being done, which may result in back pressures in toilets, tubs, showers and sinks. The city asks residents to expect maintenance crews to access back and front yard utility easements, and encourages residents to plug drains when possible and close toilet lids during the maintenance.
Should residents have questions, they are asked to contact Shenandoah Construction at 239-337-9385.
Starting Sept. 8, the city will be smoke testing the sanitary sewer lines throughout the majority of Marco Island to improve sewer service. This test, which involves forcing smoke into the sanitary sewer lines, will check for leaks, breaks and defects in the system.
Residents will be notified no earlier than three days in advance of when to expect testing in their area by way of door hanger.
This test is part of our continuing effort to provide a safe, economical, efficient and environmentally sound sewer system throughout Marco Island. The smoke testing procedure has been recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an effective means of identifying problem areas in the sewer system. Eliminating system defects and illegal connections will help the city remain in compliance with new federal legislation regarding sewer systems maintenance and sanitary sewer overflows.
The smoke is odorless, creates no fire hazard, and should not enter homes or businesses unless an establishment has defective plumbing or dried-up sink traps or floor drains. The smoke used for this test is manufactured expressly for this purpose, and leaves no residuals or stains and has no effect on plants and animals. However, direct contact with the smoke may cause minor respiratory irritation in some people. Residents that suffer from a heart condition, asthma, emphysema or some other respiratory condition and are planning to remain in the building during testing should notify the city of Marco Island immediately at 239-394-3880.
If residents have special needs or suffer from a heart, lung or berating problem or area a shift worker, please also notify the city at 239-394-3880 prior to testing.
Some sewer lines and manholes are located along backyard or side yard easements. Whenever these lines require investigation, members of the inspection crew may need to enter a property to access the sewer lines and manholes. Crews will be in uniform for easy recognition. Homeowners do not need to be present; workers will not enter homes or disturb properties.
Prior to testing, please pour two gallons of water in the seldom-used sinks or floor drains to prevent sewer gases, smoke or odors from entering the premises. If smoke does enter the home during testing, immediately leave from the building and notify the crews that are conducting the test or call the city.
If smoke enters the home, it is an indication of a plumbing defect, notify a plumber. Crews can assist in the location of any defects on private property, but the corrections of any defects are the responsibilities of the property owner.
Smoke coming from the vent stacks on houses is normal. However, smoke coming from holes in the grounds is not normal and is considered a defect. All such defects will be photographed and logged. The city will contact property owners if a defect is located on private property.
The smoke testing will be conducted through Oct. 24 daily, 8 AM-4 PM. A test should only impact a home for 15-20 minutes.
Modifications to Water Disinfecting Procedures
Between Sept. 1-30, Marco Island Utilities (MIU) will be temporarily changing the disinfection process for the potable (drinking) water supply for the Marco Island Drinking Water Service Area. For the month, the water will be disinfected with free chlorine rather than chlorine combined with ammonia (chloramines). This conversion to free chlorine (a stronger disinfectant) from chloramines allows MIU to perform an annual water distribution system purge as recommended by the Department of Environmental Protection for water utilities using chloramines as their primary disinfectant. The process currently is underway.
This temporary change in disinfectant does not cause adverse health effects, but during this period, customers may experience a change in the taste, odor and/or color of the water due to the change in treatment.
Customers on Kidney Dialysis who use a proportioning machine to prepare dialysate at home are advised to contact their physician or equipment supplier to obtain the appropriate steps to accommodate the change in water disinfection and to install the proper filtering devices, if needed.
Customers who have a fish tank(s) or aquatic species are advised to contact the local pet store to ensure proper pretreatment of the water before adding or changing the water in the tank to avoid any problems associated with chlorine.
MIU will be performing a flush of the system in conjunction with this change in water treatment. Water customers should be aware that they might experience short-term changes to their water quality during flushing, including cloudy or discolored water. While this water is safe to drink, there is a possibility that it may possibly stain clothes that are laundered. Customers are advised to flush any cloudy or discolored water that may enter their plumbing by running a faucet for several minutes.
Customers are asked to call Jack Green at the Marco Island Reverse Osmosis Plant at 239-389 3967 or on his cell number at 239-825-5058 with any questions concerning this change in disinfectants.