Portable toilets provide a sanitary solution for events and worksites lacking permanent restroom facilities. But where does all the waste go when you flush a portable toilet? These temporary bathrooms have built-in waste storage tanks that must be emptied regularly.
Portable toilets can be a fantastic option for outdoor work or preparing an event since they’re extremely practical. However, if you are planning on hiring a portable bathroom for a longer period of time or for a short period of time you might be thinking about what they do as well as what will happen to waste. The good news is that we can answer both!
Find out more about how portable toilets function.
Understanding Portable Toilet Waste Storage Systems
The ability to store waste is what makes Portable Toilets a practical solution for temporary sanitation needs. Units are designed with hidden tanks that can hold significant waste volume before needing to be emptied. Proper waste storage and timely pumping keeps the toilets hygienic.
Standard portable toilet tanks range from 50-100 gallon capacity. Large deluxe units at major events may have 200 gallon or greater tanks. The tanks are made of durable plastic resistant to corrosion and leaks. Access lids on top are sealed but include vent pipes to control odor.
Valves connect the toilet bowl to the storage tank below. When the toilet is flushed, the valves route the waste into the holding tank. The contents remain safely contained inside until the tank is eventually emptied by pumping truck.
Scheduling Portable Toilet Waste Pumping
Companies must closely monitor waste levels and schedule pumping at optimal frequencies. For units in regular use, standard tanks need emptying around once per week. If usage is heavy with long lines, pumping every 2-3 days may be required.
At major events like concerts or festivals, units may need pumping daily or even multiple times per day to keep up with demand. Careful planning balances the waste storage capacity with anticipated usage. Emptying schedules can be adjusted accordingly.
Ideally, tanks should never be allowed to overfill. When nearing capacity, waste can back up into the toilet bowl, resulting in an unpleasant experience for users. As soon as tanks reach about 80% full, they should be scheduled for emptying.
The Waste Removal Process
Specialized tanker trucks are used to empty portable toilet waste tanks onsite. These “pumpers” or “suck trucks” utilize powerful vacuum pumps and hoses inserted into tank valves to thoroughly drain contents into the truck’s much larger onboard storage tanks.
The waste is safely secured in the trucks and later transported to treatment facilities for proper disposal following environmental regulations. The empty portable toilet tanks are then washed and sanitized before more waste is collected.
Additional Waste Control Methods
Along with emptying waste tanks, portable toilet companies utilize other methods to control waste and odors:
- Deodorizers and chemicals added to toilet tanks and bowls.
- Vent pipes on tank lids allow gases to escape.
- Sealing tanks and plumbing prevents leaks.
- Schedule pumping prior to major events.
- Provide hand sanitizer and sealed trash cans.
- Educate users not to overuse toilet paper.
Key Takeaways on Portable Toilet Waste Storage
- Waste is stored in sealed tanks hidden below the toilets.
- Careful pumping schedules prevent overfilling based on anticipated usage.
- Special vacuum trucks safely remove and dispose of collected waste.
- Timely emptying of tanks keeps portable toilets hygienic and operational.
- Companies also use deodorizing chemicals, venting, and user education.
The next time you’re waiting in line for a portable toilet, remember the hidden waste tank below you that makes these facilities possible! Proper maintenance keeps the experience pleasant.
FAQs About Portable Toilet Waste Storage
How are portable toilets able to store waste?
- Waste is stored in a tank hidden under the toilet.
- Tanks range from 50-100 gallons for standard portable toilets.
- Large capacity units have tanks holding 200+ gallons.
How does waste get into the storage tank?
- Special valves connect the toilet bowl to the waste tank.
- When flushed, valves route waste from bowl into tank.
- Tanks have sealed lids with vent pipes to control odor.
How often do portable toilet tanks need to be emptied?
- Standard units need pumping weekly in regular use.
- Heavy use may require emptying every 2-3 days.
- For special events, daily or multiple times per day pumping may be needed.
What trucks are used to empty portable toilet waste tanks?
- Specialized tanker trucks with powerful vacuum pumps.
- Also called pumper trucks or suck trucks.
- Safely transfer waste to treatment facilities.