We mostly see Portable toilets at events such as outdoor festivals or concerts, but we never actually see where the waste gets dumped or how they do it. These portable toilets are more complicated than most people think, considering improper disposal could lead to pollution and health issues for humans in the area.
Where to properly dumb portable toilet waste? after your trip, dispose of the waste down a flush toilet or, if you´re using a biodegradable bag, you can chuck the bag when you’re leaving the campsite. However, many sanitation companies use hoses connected to storage tanks to completely empty the toilet and transport it to a sanitation cleaning facility where they can treat the waste.
Most porta potty companies will include sanitation pickup, but it is still very important to ensure you have secured a sanitary and safe way of emptying the toilets out without harming the environment, or yourself. But exactly how do the portable toilets work and how do they transport them?
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How Do Portable Toilets Work?
Portable toilets all work in the same way, whether they are the big blue and green ones or the ones used at a concert or festival. Human waste falls straight into the large bin without having to flush or use any type of water or electricity.
Even though these bins can hold gallons of waste, you never want them to fill up completely, to prevent being unsanitary, and so that no waste can spill out.
Some portables have sensors to alert you of when they are getting too full, but you can always tell just by looking inside the bin. Most people may assume they simply just flip it over or use a hose in the toilet to empty it like they do on airplanes.
Here’s how it really works:
#1: All portable toilets have an output hole on the side of the bin, which is how sanitation companies are able to extract the waste. Using vacuum technology, their hoses collect all the waste in a matter of seconds and safely carry it out inside the tanks which are then ready for transport.
#2: After emptying out your portable toilet, ensure that you clean the toilet with a substance that can kill bacteria and help keep it smelling fresh. Usually the sanitation companies will sanitize the toilets themselves.
Although asking for a sanitation company to dispose of the waste is the main, and safest, way to dispose of the waste, there is another option in case you are looking for ways to save money, or if you do not have a sanitation company in your area
How to use a portable toilet >> Check out the video below:
Dumping in the Sewer Lines or an Approved Dump Site
With this method, you can dump the waste straight from the holding tank, or from the portable toilet. If you choose to take on this challenge by yourself, the easiest way to do this would be to use the output hole on the side of the portable toilet.
After you connect your hose to the output hole, most of the waste will easily flow through, but you may have to use a liquid such as water to flush the rest out of the toilet and down the hose.
Once you begin the extraction, make sure the hose is directly inside the sewer line, or dump site line, so that no waste can spread elsewhere. Dumping directly into the either of these lines will ensure that the waste gets properly treated and disposed of once it arrives at the treatment facility.
This method should always be a second choice and only used if you do not have a proper sanitation facility nearby. Although it is a safe method, it’s always better to go with the most protected method in case something goes wrong during the extraction.
Before using this method, always make sure it is legal and okay to dump into the lines.
What Happens When Waste Is Not Properly Disposed Of
Improper disposal of these wastes could lead to human health issues and environmental issues. But what do those issues entail exactly?
If human waste is disposed too close to a body of water or is simply just tossed around, it could spread diseases through water supplies and could even affect our own water supply.
Bacteria in human feces are known to cause:
- Blue baby syndrome,
- Giardia, and
- Other similar gastro-intestinal diseases.
For example, rivers are always constantly flowing in many different directions. Now imagine leaving waste close to a river and it falls in. All those different directions the river flows are now carrying many different diseases and could affect anyone who jumps in or drinks from it.
This is why it’s so important to properly dispose of this waste and to not tip it over as some sort of prank. Not to mention that it’s also gross to be inside one while it is being flipped.
Aside from affecting humans, leaving waste such as toilet paper or even feminine products could affect our wildlife species and disrupt their environment.
Much like how the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico killed many ocean species, these diseases could have the exact same impact on any animal, no matter where you leave it.
Let’s say someone tossed some toilet paper in the middle of the woods and a deer ate it. Whatever diseases that toilet paper had on it, or grew on it, the deer now has inside of them.
Next, this deer gets particularly thirsty one day and drinks from the local river which, you guessed it, is how the town gets their water supply. Now the entire town has no access to clean water and it’s all tampered with due to one person making a small mistake.
Often, we automatically assume a problem will solve itself and that “nature will break it down over time.” We have to do a better job of caring for the world with which we were gifted, or else we could face major consequences that could even lead to our own extinction.
Other Forms of Portable Toilets
While portable toilets mostly include porta potties, there are many different forms and styles of portable toilets such as:
- Composting toilets – These devices use decomposition and evaporation to eliminate human waste.
- Toilet tents – These have various functions depending on what kind of toilet you put inside.
- Bucket toilets – These are basically a toilet seat on top of a bucket.
Although each these have different names and styles, they are all directly related to porta potties, and, aside from the composting toilets, they still have to be emptied and disposed of properly.
The toilets listed are most useful for camping, or in RV`s due to their smaller size. But if you are planning on camping in one spot for a while, and/or with more people, a bigger porta potty would be much better to use, even though most formal camping sites have them scattered throughout the property.
Since most of these options are used in RV`s, it’s much more important to dispose of the waste by bringing it to a sanitation facility, using an approved dump site, or the sewer lines and not to dump it on the side of the road or into the woods.
This way you know you are protecting the nearby wildlife. You are also protecting yourself from receiving a costly fine for littering or improper dumping.
Although all of these methods and toilets are good ways to go on the go and dispose of properly, you should always have good communication with the company you purchase from to ensure that the purchase of the portable toilet comes with the disposal process, and if not to ensure you have all the proper tools to dispose of it safely by yourself.
We must continue to care for our planet and treat every plant and animal with the highest regard.
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