Porta potties – which are also commonly known as “porta johns” and “portable restrooms” – are a staple at outdoor events like concerts, family reunions, tailgates and even weddings. They’re also common on construction sites and even on home renovations when areas of the home are restricted from use. While porta potties are somewhat self explanatory in nature – after all, they do offer a portable, convenient way of going to the bathroom – there’s often a lot more than what meets the eye when it comes to these units. With that being said, here’s a look at five things you never knew about porta potties:
5 Things You Never Knew About Porta Potties
While outdoor restrooms, or outhouses, have a lengthy history (keep in mind that the first toilet installed inside even the White House wasn’t done until 1825), the first patent for a portable toilet made of plastic – the modern day porta potty – wasn’t issued until the 1950s. It was issued to Harvey Heather, and was originally referred to as a “strong box.” The second patent for a plastic portable toilet was issued about a decade later to George Harding.
Green isn’t good: Normally when somebody or something “goes green,” it’s a good thing. That’s not necessarily true in the case of porta potties. That’s because porta potties use an odor neutralizing blue chemical in their holding tanks. However, when enough urine and feces come into contact with this blue chemical, it will turn green. When it turns green, that’s a sign that the odor neutralizing nature of the chemical is no longer effective.
Porta potties remain one of the most vandalized structures. In fact, one North Carolina company reports that up to 5 percent of its inventory are rendered unusable each month due to vandalism. However, there are ways to prevent porta potty tipping and other types of vandalism. For instance, many units now come with tipping prevention systems, which allow porta johns to be secured to structures, and thereby prevent tampering.
A porta potty or larger portable restroom is essentially nothing more than a box or rectangle of molded plastic. And the affordability to create these units are one of their many benefits. For instance, a new single unit porta potty is estimated to cost between $500 and $700. A larger portable restroom costs about $2,000. Based on these costs, it would actually be cheaper for many commercial facilities – and even residences – to purchase a porta potty rather than maintain plumbing infrastructure and the costs associated with it.
The average porta potty is able to hold enough sewage for 7 people over the course of a 40-hour work week.
The more you know about porta potties, right? Those standalone devices you see outdoors on job sites and at tailgates actually are pretty interesting. If you’re planning an outdoor event, contact us today and let’s get started with planning your restroom arrangement.