In the grand tapestry of human civilisation, a humble yet indispensable cornerstone exists – the portable toilet. These unassuming self-contained marvels gracefully shine at outdoor extravaganzas, gritty construction sites, and pristine campsites, extending a lifeline to answer nature’s call at places where plumbing and sewage systems are non-existent. With unfaltering poise, they offer respite from the call of nature without besmirching the sanctity of our environment or personal hygiene.
But have you ever wondered how portable toilets work? Have you ever pondered the mystery of how your waste gets disposed of after you flush? And, most crucially, how do these utilitarian units maintain an unsullied aura free of odours and nefarious bacteria? In this article, we will take a closer look at the inner workings of portable toilets, dissecting its arcane machinery and demystifying its clandestine technology.
Components Of a Portable Toilet
- Toilet Seat and Bowl: Depending on whether you’re going a number one or number two, this is where you assume your rightful position to urinate or defecate. Fashioned from sturdy plastic or sleek fibreglass, the bowl harbours a flap or valve guarding against any discomfiting back-splash escaping the tank.
- Holding Tank: Hidden beneath or just behind the royal seat lies the holding tank, a reservoir where your excreta stays until their eventual exile into a sewage facility. These tanks, with sizes spanning from 10 to 60 gallons, are bespoke for each model, depending on the size and model of the portable toilet.
Within this reservoir, a liquid solution containing chemicals such as formaldehyde, chlorine, or biodegradable enzymes works their transformative wonders to break down the waste and reduce odour. Perhaps more ostentatious in their design, some tanks employ vents or fans to sweep away excess moisture and purify the air.
- Flushing Mechanism: The flushing mechanism activates the flap or valve to release your waste into the holding tank. This crucial device may work manually, requiring the user to press a button, pull a lever, or press a pedal. Yet, alternatively, in newer designs, a sensor or timer automatically executes the final ritual that sends your stool on its journey to the sewers.
- Hand Washing Station: The COVID-19 pandemic enlightened every human on the planet on the importance of handwashing in maintaining optimal health. But before that, porta-potties were equipped with handwashing stations for users to wash their hands after using the toilet.
The hand washing station can be attached to the portable toilet unit or separate from it. Still, the basic makeup usually consists of a sink, faucet, soap dispenser, and paper towel dispenser, with a water supply that can come from a built-in tank, a hose connection, or a foot pump. In some luxurious designs, mirrors, trash receptacles, and hand sanitisers might also grace the convenience unit.
Site toilet hire, the caretakers of these portable sanctuaries, shoulder the weighty responsibility of maintaining their integrity with regular cleaning rituals that involve the meticulous disinfection and deodorisation of the seat, bowl, tank, and handwashing station.
To empty the holding tank, the waste is pumped from the tank and disposed of in a waste treatment plant with a frequency of maintenance depending on the usage and location of the portable toilet. However, it is generally recommended to empty individual units at least once a week and service them at least once a month.
Now, armed with this newfound knowledge, you can approach these humble convenience boxes with reverence and employ them with the grace they deserve, for within their unassuming exterior lies a meticulous design and world of delicate balances playing an ode to human ingenuity in the face of nature’s call.