The hardest part about working construction on a building or project that isn’t fully finished yet is the lack of washrooms. Porta potties are rented for construction sites for the specific purpose of providing a washroom for construction workers. They are also used for temporary events, festivals, camping sites and other areas where washrooms cannot be built.
How Does a Porta Potty Work?
Porta potties are a portable outhouse that resembles a little “hut” structure that is often made from polyurethane plastic. The most basic interior of a porta potty features a toilet seat, a non-splash urinal, non-slip floor and a hand sanitizer distributor. A holding tank sits under the toilet seat and usually holds up to 60 gallons of waste. More advanced porta potties have a flushing and pressure system which allows the “flushing” of waste and circulation of water. Portable toilet trailers can have a full water tank system, heating and cooling, lights and sink.
The function of a porta potty is simple: It’s a washroom that can move. You use it as you would a regular washroom but instead of the waste flushing away down a complex system of pipes and treatment facilities, it goes right into a storage box.
The blue liquid often seen in porta-potties is an incredibly powerful deodorizer and disinfectant. It helps to combat smells that come from feces and urine. As it is used it is this liquid that helps the porta potty stay fresh.
Cleaning a Porta Potty
Porta potties are cleaned by a service technician that connects large hoses to the output holes at the back and base of the porta potty tank. The hoses use vacuum technology to empty the holding tank into a truck.
The service technician should also clean the surface and walls of the hut, replace toilet paper and hand sanitizer and refill the deodorizer.
How Often Should a Porta Potty be Serviced?
Porta potties should be serviced at least once a week. It is a great idea, however, to check all washrooms at the end of the day to ensure they have adequate toilet paper, sanitizer and are not in need of a more thorough clean.
Common Concerns About Porta Potties
No one would choose to use a porta potty over a washroom with flush toilets and running water. The reality is, however, that almost every person at some point in their life will use a porta potty. For construction workers, it may be the only place to use the washroom while working. It does not, however, have to be an
The assumption about portable toilets is that they are dirty, unhygienic, stinky, dirty and “gross”. Many of these assumptions, however, are not true. In fact, porta potties aren’t as much of a concern to your health as you think.
You are more likely to catch germs from a doorknob than a porta potty. In fact, most washrooms are far cleaner than general items that you don’t look at as being “dirty” or “gross”. One study found that the average keyboard on a computer at home has 400 times more bacteria on it than a public toilet seat.
Like any bathroom that isn’t cleaned or maintained, a portable toilet can become smelly, unclean and unappealing. However, proper maintenance, daily cleaning and being smart about where you set them up can make a big difference.
How COVID has Changed Porta Potty Rentals
The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the value and importance of proper handwashing and general cleanliness. While porta potties themselves have not changed much because of COVID, the rise of handwashing stations to accompany them has. Running water and soap dispensers are more popular than ever on construction sites.
What has also changed about porta potty rentals with COVID is the rise of interest in the trailer porta potties. These portable toilets are not the traditional hut-type toilets you may think of. Instead there are literal portable washroom trailers that use water and power hookups to provide running and heated water, heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer.
The Best Place to Put Porta Potties on Construction Sites
There are three main things to consider when placing porta potties on your construction site for your project.
Keeping porta potties in a shaded spot can reduce the “hot box” effect created within the plastic hut. This concern isn’t as apparent for trailer-type portable washrooms but for traditional porta potties, it can make a big difference. Hot and stuffy porta potties can impact the smell of them. To keep porta potties clean and appealing enough for people to use them, shade can make a big difference. If you don’t have a shady spot on your project, consider renting a small tent to provide that shade.
Porta potties need to be accessible by a service technician to empty the holding tank and do a clean of the inside of the washroom. Make sure that accessibility to the access ports is not blocked by where you put them.
As projects advance and progress, the status of different locations on site may change. You don’t want to have to move and transport porta potties halfway through a project. Do your best to place washrooms in an area where they can stay for the entirety of a project.
Image borrowed from Co-Man Portables.
How Many Porta Potties Do I Need for My Construction Site?
The number of porta potties needed for a construction site depends on how many workers you have, and even on the size of the project. Large projects may want to space porta potties out so that contractors don’t need to travel for 10 minutes just to use the washroom. Accessibility is a big part in making sure that people actually use them.
A general rule of thumb is to have one porta potty for every 7 people on a construction site. That porta potty should be serviced at least once a week. Since each porta potty is an independent unit with a locked door, you do not need to rent separate washrooms for men and women on the construction site.
Renting a Porta Potty for Construction Projects
Porta potty rentals are a great way to provide a reliable washroom for contractors on a construction site or for any other type of project of event where portable washrooms are needed. With daily, weekly, and monthly rentals available, you can get as many porta potties as you need for as long as you need them. Give the DOZR team a call to learn more about renting a porta potty.