Renting the correct types and number of porta potties is important, but it’s only half the battle. Don’t overlook proper porta potty placement at your location.
It seems simple: cluster all of the units together and off to the side so they’re out of the way. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, and we want to help you avoid some common mistakes.
Below, we break down everything we’ve learned about how and where to arrange portable bathrooms.
Accessibility for Delivery, Cleaning, and Removal
Your portable bathrooms will be delivered on top of a truck or towed, depending on the type of unit. As a result, companies require a clear path so the delivery truck can access where you want the units placed. If they are unable to access your preferred location, then you will need to choose another spot.
Rentals lasting longer than one day typically require cleaning – trust us. You’ll likely have other large items – food trucks, concert stages, etc. – placed at your location, so be sure a sanitation service can get within 20 feet of the porta potties. They need to hook up and pump the waste from the units, and they will be unable to do so if they can’t get close enough.
Finally, clear a path before the crew arrives to retrieve the portable bathrooms. They’re on a schedule, and long delays could show up on your bill.
Let’s start with the basics.
First, find the dimensions of the unit you plan to rent. If you plan to rent more than one, then you’ll need to calculate the total size of the area they will cover (with at least a few inches between each unit). Don’t estimate! Next, compare these dimensions to the size of your location. Will they fit? If not, it’s back to the drawing board.
The next step is to make sure the ground is level, solid, and dry. If the ground isn’t level, then you risk the porta potty sliding, or worse, tipping over. If the ground isn’t dry and solid, then the porta potty might sink. We’re not worried about quicksand, but if the units sink a little too much, then it will be difficult to retrieve them at the end of your rental. Stick to concrete and other solid surfaces to be safe.
Crowd Control and Satisfaction
You know which areas are accessible and can support portable bathrooms and restroom trailers. Let’s now consider crowd flow and making sure guests are left satisfied.
We suggest placements that are near the action, such as by food and beverage vendors, lounge areas, and other highly-populated areas. The key is to be near people, but not in the middle of them. Nobody wants that smell, or the nearby sight of people entering the bathroom, as they eat and socialize. It’s best to place them off to the side.
Also consider the size of your event. If it’s a small gathering, then you can place every unit together in one central area. If it’s a large event, consider splitting porta potties between a few different areas. This will prevent long lines (crowd control!) and having to walk long distances.
Does your event have permanent bathroom facilities on the premises? If so, don’t place the portable bathrooms in the same area. Better serve your guests by spreading them around to other areas. This is an easy way to keep everyone happy.
Porta Potty Security
Most first-time renters overlook security. To be frank, this can be a disaster.
Porta potties can be tipped over, vandalized, or even destroyed by pranksters and other bad guys. The chance of this happening increases if the rental is left overnight, especially if left unsecured. And if the units have not been cleaned, then you’ll have quite a mess.
Consider placing them in an area secured by fencing or a barricade. Some companies provide temporary fencing and barrier rentals, such as chain-link fences. You could also hire a security officer to monitor your property overnight. Either way, you should lock each restroom door with padlocks overnight.
You would be surprised to find out how many people fail to consider weather when choosing a porta potty placement. Even if the forecast calls for sunshine, it’s best to be prepared for the elements.
If possible, try to avoid placing portable bathrooms on dirt, grass, and other surfaces that won’t hold up to heavy rain. If heavy rain leads to mud, then it will be difficult for guests to navigate to and from the restrooms. Even worse, your rental company might not be able to drive through the mud to retrieve their units. The same applies to areas prone to snow, which can be even more troublesome.
Another weather-related factor to plan for is wind. You risk porta potties tipping over if certain areas of your event are prone to high winds. This is a mess you do not want to deal with, so be sure to secure every unit to the ground to keep them in place.
One final tip: find overhead coverage for your portable bathrooms whenever possible. Guests will not be happy about waiting in the rain to use the restroom. In addition, rain can get inside the units through vents and other slits, which will make for a slippery and unpleasant bathroom experience.
Placement Laws and Regulations
There aren’t many porta potty laws to worry about, but there are a few to consider.
First, never place them where they will block fire hydrants or other emergency equipment. In addition, be sure that fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles have enough space to enter your location. This is usually required by law, but more importantly, it’s necessary for the safety of your guests.
You must also comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (https://www.ada.gov/). This means that at least 5% of porta potties must meet ADA guidelines for handicap accessibility. If it’s a smaller event, then you are required to provide at least 1 compliant unit. The easiest way to meet this requirement is to rent handicap porta potties in addition to standard units. Just be sure to place at least one accessible unit in each cluster of portable bathrooms.
The final placement consideration depends on whether you’ll be on public property. If so, you’ll want to check with the local city or county government offices to obtain any necessary permits. For example, you might find yourself in trouble if you place a unit on a sidewalk without first getting a permit. It’s easier to get a permit than to deal with the consequences.