Have you ever stopped to think about how a porta-potty actually works? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably a resounding “no!” However, if you’re the type of person who enjoys learning about how different technologies work (yes, a porta-potty is a technology), you just might be intrigued by the process involved in a working porta-potty.
The actual construction and components of a porta-potty are actually quite simple. In most cases, a plastic “shell” is enclosed around the potty itself, so as to give its occupants privacy. These shells are made to be durable enough for transport, since porta-potties have to do a lot of traveling.
Underneath the seat of a porta-potty is a large basin. This basin is responsible for taking in human waste. Typically, these basins are attached and locked in place, but must be removed regularly for emptying and cleaning.
While porta-potties generally aren’t thought of as being the most sanitary places, the fact remains that they’ve come a long way over the years. Today’s porta-potties are actually quite clean and pleasant, provided that they’re well maintained and regularly cleaned – like ours, of course!
Inside the basin of a porta-potty is a mixture of chemicals that’s meant to break down the waste and remove the odor. Different manufacturers use different combinations of chemicals, so there’s no universal “formula,” but these chemicals are safe. In many cases, the chemical mixtures found in porta-potties consist of a dye, a biocide, and a fragrance.
Maintaining a porta-potty unit essentially involves making sure its basin is emptied out as needed. The frequency with which this should be done can vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as:
Either on a scheduled basis or per request from the venue owner, professionals will come out and empty the basins. Once they’re emptied of all waste, the chemical mixture will be replenished with a fresh supply. Once the basin is re-installed in the porta-potty itself, it will be once again ready for use.
The waste that was removed from the basin will be transported to a sewage dump, where it can be disposed of properly and legally.
As you can now see, there’s a lot more to the operation of a porta-potty than meets the eye. Perhaps the next time you find yourself in a situation where you need to use one, you’ll do so with a greater appreciation for the amount of thought and maintenance that goes into the process!
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