Portable Toilets

Portable toilets, though considered by most to be very tacky are a necessary. This website aims to provide advice and a couple tips regarding portable toilets.

Not a subject often spoken about and certainly one that most would not choose to deal with; human waste should be a concern. Most of us though seem to have taken on a "Forget after we flush" mentality. So why make a big deal about this nasty subject.

Well the thing is that human waste takes a very long time to break down naturally, especially in dry conditions. Human waste that is left lying around can interfere with the ecosystem with regard to soils and vegetation. But the big problems are issues related to health hazards, since this waste are major vessels for infectious diseases.

These health hazards can take on four vicious forms:

  • Bacteria
  • Helminths, otherwise known as worms
  • Protozoa
  • And Viruses.

As most of us know, flies (and other weekends) are attracted to and always seem to find waste. By coming into contact with it they then become carriers of the four nasties above. Use of portable toilets minimise the risk of us being exposed.

At present in the UK there are no regulations regarding human waste disposal. In the event of a toilet having to be dug - permission has to be obtained by the land owner first and sited well away from water ways. People should also try and reduce the effect of a function (concert or wedding for example) by utilising portable toilet facilities.

There are very broadly speaking to major types: those that have a storage tank, and those that make use of sealable bags (designed especially) commonly called "wag bags."

A reputable portable toilet though should be firm, robust and non biodegradable with a containment system designed specifically to store human waste. The system cannot leak, whatever position the unit is in (even upside down) and emptying must be able to be done in a safe and hygienic manner - no spilling, seeping or exposure.

A few things that one should keep in mind though:

  • Plastic liners cannot be used as a substitute for wag bags, they are not designed to store excrement safely.
  • With regards to tanks - a single gallon tank will accommodate eight uses; this can be used as a rough guideline to help determine what size unit to get.
  • Formaldehyde can disrupt septic systems, therefore try and use deodorizers that do not contain this substance as their main ingredient.
  • Only waste and waste wipes are designed to be held in the tank. So make a point as not using your portable toilet as a rubbish bin. That includes using them to dispose of feminine hygiene products.
  • To maintain complete hygiene you might want to ensure that a hand washing facility is nearby - although in most model this is a standard feature. Some also recommend tossing a bit of quick lime in after each use. By coating the lavatory with non-stick cooking spray you can make emptying the tanks easily. Coat the bottom and first six inches up the side of the toilet with a pine-oil cleaner or get the inside wet prior to initial use to help the cleaning process.

Maintaining your Portable Toilet

The main thing you need to guard against is leaks. These are usually caused by dirt that finds its way onto sealing surfaces. The areas that need special attention are the sewer cap and pressure relief valve. The units need to be checked at least once a year. Simply fill the tank up with water and then flip it upside down. Keep the tank in the shade as the sun will cause any air in the tank to expand in volume thereby the water might be forced out through the pressure relief valve.

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