Everything You Want to Know About Porta Potties

Are you ready to find out everything you ever wanted to know about porta potties but were too afraid to ask? As a portable restroom service company, we get asked a lot of strange questions. But for every question we get asked there are probably five more that people are too embarrassed to ask. But we’re in the poop business, which means we don’t scare easily. This is the top list of odd and interesting things people wonder about related to portable toilets:

What is that Blue Liquid?

The blue liquid in porta potties used to be a formaldehyde-based liquid, but when states started outlawing the use of formaldehyde in portable toilets to prevent it from going to wastewater treatment plants that were unequipped to handle it, companies had to start using a new solution. Unlike formaldehyde, which is a carcinogen, this new blue liquid is safer for people and the environment alike. Essentially, the new blue is greener!

So, what is that blue liquid in a porta potty? It is a mix of chemical biocides to kill the bacteria from human waste, fragrance, and blue dye. The biocides are the active ingredient, while the smell and color simply mask the presence of human waste.

And just like windshield washer fluid, the formula changes to accommodate the season. During the winter, an anti-freezing agent like salt is added to ensure that the mixture won’t freeze inside the tank. The blue liquid can also be made stronger to combat hot summer temperatures.

Can You Poop in Them?

We couldn’t really have an about that covers everything you want to know about porta potties without talking about poop, could we?

This question usually pertains to RV toilets, but we’ve also heard it related to porta johns. Yes, you can poop in porta potties. Porta potties are equipped to handle both #1 and #2. A toilet does not need to flush for you to poop. Now, the person going after you may not be thrilled that you did if it’s really stinky. But if you need to go, you need to go. In the summer when temps are high, it might not be the most pleasant experience to sit there in the heat for a while, but you certainly can do your business regardless of what kind of business it is!

Where Does the Waste Go?

The waste that’s deposited in a portable toilet is pumped out using a specialized truck. Then the waste is aggregated and brought to a wastewater treatment plant. At the plant heavy solids are removed and the remaining liquid is treated with chemicals and UV light to kill the bacteria. The resulting water is clean and ready to go back into nearby water sources.

Can you Fall In a Porta Potty?

An adult really can’t fall into a porta potty tank, but other things can. Hold onto your belongings tightly, because those are the most common item that ends up mistakenly in portable toilets. Wallets, lip gloss, feminine products, and even your phone can end up floating in that blue liquid.

Can You Catch a Disease Using One?

Yep. You can catch a disease using any public restroom. That’s just a possibility any time you share a bathroom with someone else. In fact, you can catch something in your home bathroom too if any house guests use them.

But surprisingly, sharing a toilet seat with strangers isn’t the most common way to pick up a cold or virus. The most common way that people catch something from a public restroom is not washing their hands after going to the bathroom. Failing to wash your hands after coming into contact with door handles and other high-touch surfaces puts you at a higher risk of getting sick. So, as long as you use hand sanitizer after going to the bathroom, you should be fine.  

How Often are Porta Potties Cleaned?

On average how often are porta potties cleaned out? It depends on where the portable toilet is located. Porta potties on trails or in parks are obviously serviced less frequently that porta potties at events. Festivals and other multi-day events will get pumped out regularly throughout the event to keep them in good working order and make sure they don’t get filled up.

Portable toilets at single-day events like weddings, grad parties, tailgates, and fundraising events are serviced before and after the event. These units are dropped off at the event squeaky clean and fully stocked with paper towels and hand sanitizer so they’re ready to be used. After the event is over, they’re hauled away to get them ready for their next location.

Can Porta Potties Tip Over?

Port potties can tip over. But, contrary to people who are afraid of porta potties, a portable toilet won’t just tip over while you’re inside of it unless there’s an extenuating factor. Heavy winds can tip over porta potties while they’re vacant or occupied. That’s why it’s advised that you avoid porta potties during strong storms. Porta potties can also tip if they’re placed on uneven or soft ground. Mud, sand, and other ground prone to sinking can allow portable toilets to shift and fall over. But the number one reason why portable toilets fall over is vandalism. So, the biggest risk of being in a porta potty that falls over happens when you’re in poor company.

That’s it! Did you find out everything you ever wanted to know about porta potties? We hope so! If you have other questions, please contact us and we’d be happy to answer them for you to set you at ease when renting portable restrooms.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!