Subject: From a micro-mini industry, it has grown massively and, today, there are some 2,000,000 porta potty rentals in existence. So how did this happen? How it all started?
The portable toilet is a transportable, lightweight, efficient and more sanitary version of a common facility for the dumping human waste that existed before the invent of in-house plumbing, the outhouse. Before indoor plumbing, humans often attended to their need to dump crap in an isolated stall located outside of working and living quarters. This stall typically used to contain a bench with a large hole cut into it. The human waste was deposited through the hole directly to the ground below. Later a more refined variation of the outhouse was the water closet with a water tank and flushing system that deposited the waste in a cesspit below.
In 1843, the designing of indoor plumbing led to the development of the first modern toilet, although sewage system hooked toilets did not come into general use until the Victorian era. Still, this innovation was not useful for those who worked or otherwise congregated in outdoor areas with no access to such a facility. Some such venues, such as many roadway rest areas, camping facilities, and children’s summer camps, still utilize rustic outhouses.
The most common places where portable toilets are used are outdoor parking lots, construction sites, and other work environments where indoor plumbing is not accessible, and at large outdoor gatherings such as fairs, concerts, and recreational events.
The earliest known restroom facilities date back to the 3rd millennium B.C. when Rudimentary latrine facilities were discovered in Scotland. Around the same time, it appears that Western-style lavatory facilities were being constructed in Pakistan with wooden and brick seats. Human waste fell through a chute into a cesspit. Toilets have been found in the bathrooms of tombs, presumably for use in the afterlife in Egypt. The first mobile toilet dates back to the mid 14th century B.C.
Until the 18th century, the portable chamber pot, a slightly more modern version of the first portable toilet, was the most commonly used latrine provision. The Elizabethan poet Sir John Harington developed the notion of a flushable toilet, who designed an indoor water closet containing a toilet facility that could dilute sewage with water contained in a cistern.
In 1886 Thomas Crapper created the first flushable toilet which actually flushed out the contents of the bowl and not just dilutes them. Crapper’s invention became common as public sewer systems became more evolved.
In the 20th century, engineers combined the portability of the ancient latrines with the sanitary benefits of the contemporary toilet to create a closed unit that is also transportable, lightweight and compact. The mobile toilet which was commonly known as the Porta-John is now a common feature at worksites and events that do not have access to sewer systems.
The main component of the mobile toilet is a lightweight plastic sheet like polyethylene, which forms the actual toilet unit as well as the cabin in which it is contained. A holding and pump tank form the portable sewer system. The facility is also equipped with an inlet tube and chemical supply container.
The toilet unit
1 The toilet unit is comprised of a lightweight plastic sheet which is formed into a box-like structure and secured with rivets, bolts, and nuts. A lock may be placed over the top sheet to prevent its unauthorized removal.
2 The actual toilet tank is made of the same material and shaped with a rounded rear wall and a corrugated front wall.
3 The toilet tank is fixed with a cover of two flat semi-circular plastic sheets. Both sheets are fitted with a central toilet opening.
4 A usual toilet seat made of plastic is placed over the toilet bowl and connected with hinges to the assembly.
5 The seat is provided with a pin which is secured to the bottom surface of the seat. The pin extends downward through a bracket and the cover. Under the bracket, a spring coil is placed around the pin.
6 A piston is placed underneath the pin, and a bellows-type mechanical pump is placed beneath the piston. When the seat is raised, the pump will be activated by the piston.
7 The toilet opening is laid with a pair of plastic doors secured by hinges to the bottom of the tank. The doors are connected to the toilet seat with metal links and are activated when the seat is raised and lowered.
8 A cabin is formed with two lightweight plastic panels, a similar back and a front panel with a door opening. All parts are secured with rivets, bolts, screws, and nails. With the use of inter-fitting joints, the facility can be reassembled and disassembled for easy transportation.
9 A flat bottom and a rounded top containing a drain to release moisture and depression for the toilet tank are secured with the structure of rivets.
10 Through a small opening in the roof and another small opening in the toilet holding tank, a vent pipe is placed.
11 A plastic door is fitted with a sliding lock and an inset handle that activates a “vacant-not vacant” board on the other side of the door.
12 With the help of hinges, the door is attached to the front panel.
In accordance with federal and state environmental rules, the contents of portable toilet holding tanks must be disposed of. For example, in Michigan, portable toilet waste may be disposed to a POTW(publicly-owned treatment works) facility through the local sewage system.
As long as humans continue to congregate in outdoor areas and other sites without indoor plumbing, porta-potties will be a necessity. Even though this product machine is fairly basic it is subject to innovations, especially with respect to its design.