FAQ - Frequently Asked Porta Potty Questions

  • What Colors do Porta Potties Come in?

    Since Porta Potties are mostly made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic they can essentially be manufactured in any color. Most porta potties are either a bright blue or a gray color. Porta potties are also commonly found in navy blue, teal, orange, and white.

  • Should a Porta Potty be Staked Down?

    Since Porta Potties are small and light this makes them easy to tip over. Inclement weather and rowdy teenagers can easily knock over a porta potty which can make it non-usable until a technician comes to service the unit. Servicing a unit that has been knocked over can also be challenging since the waste and chemicals have to be cleaned up manually. With that said, you should consider staking down your porta potties for the duration of your special event.

  • What is a Porta Potty Made of?

    The standard porta potty is manufactured using components made out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic and aluminum. Some small components like springs and fasteners are made out of steel. Rails to support the porta potty above the ground can be made out of wood or plastic. This makes the porta potty very light and easy to move and transport.

  • Can Portable Toilets be Used in Hot Climates?

    Yes, in fact porta potties do very well in warm climates. Today's porta potties are designed to optimize airflow within the unit and additional equipment such as solar or battery power fans are available to keep the air moving. Bacteria within the holding tank can be more active in a warm climate so additional chemicals are usually added to counteract this the increase in bacterial activity.

  • Can Porta Potties be Used in Cold Climates?

    Yes they can! Porta potties are great for colder climates. Units that are frequently used during a special event tend to stay a bit warmer than the outside temperature. If the temperature gets really cold a salty brine solution can be added to the waste reservoir to help prevent it from freezing.

  • How Big is a Porta Potty?

    A standard porta potty measures approximately 4 feet by 4 feet or about 16 square feet. Some models are smaller however standard ADA compliant restrooms must have enough room for a wheel chair to enter and turn around. An ADA compliant unit can typically measures around 40 square feet. Most standard porta potties are between 7.5 feet and 8 feet tall.

  • How Many Times can a Porta Potty be Used Before It needs to be Cleaned?

    This depends on a variety of factors as well as the size of the holding tank. A typical port-o-john can be used between 80 and 100 times before it needs to be serviced.

  • What are some of the Features of a Porta Potty?

    Porta potties are designed to fit a lot of things into a small space. This includes an anti-slip floor, a translucent roof, air vents, self closing doors with locks, privacy/occupancy indicators and a contoured seat with lid. Some, but not all, porta potties also have a non-splash urinal in addition to the standard toilet seat.

  • What comes with a portable toilet?

    A standard porta potty comes with 2 rolls of toilet paper. Additional features can be added as needed such as hand sanitizers, fans & lighting, and paper seat covers as well.

  • What Kind of Diseases can you Get from Porta Potties?

    Porta potties can harbor many pathogens and diseases however the risk of actually contracting a disease is usually no higher than what you would expect from any public restroom. By practicing good hygiene and washing your hands often you can help to prevent the spread of disease. Porta potties should also be serviced after every 80 to 100 uses or at least weekly to keep the bacteria levels from exceeding safe levels.

  • How Many Porta Potties Can be Serviced in a Day?

    Typically, sanitation technicians can clean and pump 40-50 portable toilets in one day.

  • How Often Should a Porta Potty be Serviced?

    For long term applications a weekly service (or after 80-100 uses) is sufficient to meet the needs of most users. However, for large special events a porta potty service may be needed on a daily or nightly basis. When renting a portable toilet be sure to discuss your specific needs with the customer service representative to ensure that your toilets will be serviced at an appropriate frequency.

  • How are Porta Potties Serviced?

    After the holding tank is pumped out, the interior is thoroughly cleaned and washed down. The waste reservoir is refilled with water and chemicals and all of the accessories such as hand sanitizer and toilet paper are replenished. A typical porta potty service can take 10-20 minutes to complete.

  • What Happens to Waste Collected from Porta Potties?

    Once a truck is full of waste it is delivered to a nearby wastewater treatment plant for processing. The wastewater facility processes it in a similar fashion to raw sewage.

  • How do you Dispose of Waste from a Portable Toilet?

    Typically the contents of a porta potty are removed by pumping it into a truck with a high-powered suction hose. One truck can easily service 10-20 porta potties.

  • How Much Waste can a Porta Potty Hold?

    Most porta potties have the capacity to hold anywhere from 50 to 100 gallons of waste and chemicals. The typical standard porta potty has an average tank size of about 60-70 gallons.

  • Will the Blue Dye Stain Clothing?

    Should you happen to get the blue liquid on your skin or clothing you needn't worry about the stain being permanent. With the use of soap or standard laundry detergents the dye should easily come out. However, it must be noted that the blue dye can stain many porous surfaces such as non-treated wood, concrete, and rocks or landscaping.

  • What is the Blue Liquid in a Porta Potty?

    The blue liquid inside of a port-o-john is composed of a variety chemicals designed to improve the user's experience. Typically a fragrance and a deodorizing agent are the primary ingredients added to the tanks's water that neutralize the smells that human waste can generate. Traditionally, anti-bacterial agents such as formaldehyde were added to kill bacteria within the tank however the modern approach favors the addition of enzymes and biocides instead. The enzymes speed up the decomposition process while the biocides consume the bacteria that produces odors. In addition to these chemicals, a third ingredient, blue dye, is added to the liquid to act as an indicator that turns green when mixed with urine. It also helps mask the contents of the tank from anyone who steps inside. Once the contents of a porta potty's holding tank turns green then it is ready for service by a sanitation technician.

  • Do Porta Potties Flush?

    Standard porta potties do not flush. The standard porta potty has toilet seat that opens to a holding tank that stores and collects waste until the unit is serviced by a sanitation technician. However, there are portable toilets that have flushing mechanisms designed to suit a variety of situations.

  • How Does a Portable Toilet Work?

    A portable toilet is a small, light-weight, self contained bathroom that requires no connection to outside utilities (such as electricity or water). It works by storing waste within a holding tank that contains chemicals designed to neutralize odors. Due to its features and simplistic design, the porta potty is a great solution to providing restrooms at construction sites and special events.

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