How Do Porta Potties Work Anyways?!

We were recently setting up for an event when a nice lady came over to us and started chatting. She was asking us how we got started in the business and which types of events we service, and then she leaned in and said, “So, how do portable toilets actually work?” We talked to her for a few minutes before getting back to the job at hand and as she was leaving she thanked us saying, “You know, I’ve always wondered about that!” That experience got us to thinking – maybe there are more people out there who’ve always wanted to know the very same thing and didn’t know who to ask. So, if you’ve ever wondered what life is like for a porta potty, here you go…

Each event we do is planned, in advance, down to the detail. The client will tell us about their upcoming event – what it is, when it is, how many people are expected, how long it will last, etc. Then, we use this information to advise the client on how many units he/she will need. Whether it’s a small event like a wedding or graduation party or a large event like a music festival, corporate function, or marathon, we can cater to the needs of each specific client. At this point the units are reserved for the client’s chosen date and time. (The summer months are our busiest, but we rent units year-round.)

Before a portable toilet or luxury restroom trailer arrives at your event, it’s been thoroughly cleaned and prepared for use. This includes pumping out the waste tank, sanitizing the whole interior, washing down the exterior, and re-stocking it with paper and hand sanitizer and/or soap.

At the event, attendees will use the toilets and the tanks inside will begin to fill up. The reason single-ply toilet paper is provided is to minimize waste so that tanks don’t fill too quickly. The solid waste that attendees leave behind is naturally broken down and the smell is minimized by the blue chemical solution stored down in the tanks. Depending on the event, sometimes the organizers have chosen to have extra capacity tanks installed, which can add 250 additional gallons of storage.

If the portable toilet that you’re using is an elite unit, it may also have a sink with running water and a flushable toilet feature. In much the same way that a portable handwashing station would work, these both draw on water held in storage tanks to offer these more premium features. When that tank is out of water, those amenities will no longer work.

Once the event is over, the cycle starts again! The unit is removed and then turned around for the next event on the calendar, which means that there’s no telling where the porta potty that you’re using may have traveled from earlier that week, month, or year. Our portable restrooms travel all over West Michigan, and our luxury portable toilets go all over Michigan and the surrounding states.


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