Porta Potti waste disposal systems of the portable toilets.

Porta Potti waste disposal systems of the portable toilets or Ports potti or portable or mobile toilets are easy to carry self-contained sanitary stations. They often come with a bowl, a toilet, a waste disposal system (through a flush) and a hand sanitizer)

You could find porta potti mostly on construction sites, slums, and low-income education institutions, as well as crowded social events like corporative gatherings, sports tournaments (like golf), weddings, birthday parties, and other kinds of ceremonies.

The average porta potti is the chemical portable toilet station, which uses a nitrate-based and water mixture to flush the waste into the septic tank and disinfecting the bowl.

These units don’t have a hole into the ground like pit latrines, instead, most kinds of portable toilets have an inground septic tank or treatment plant or are connected to a sewage system.

While some portable toilets a heavy and need wrenches and trucks to carry, most of them are movable and even foldable, so they can be carried by one person without much trouble.

Mobile toilets can be picked up and carried around: while some are extremely heavy and need winches and trucks to carry, most are lightweight and even foldable.

The misspelling

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a “porta potti”(with such arbitrary spelling) like a trademark name for portable chemical toilets. It also gives a second definition for the proprietary name: a small and prefabricated sanitation unit that contains a toilet and that is easy to transport to temporary installation on outdoors and narrow spaces.

The misspelled word is used in the U.K., the U.S., and the British India as well. Even so, the correct spelling would be “porta potty.”

Chemical toilets

These units collect human urine and excreta in an inground holding tank, while blue chemicals minimize the odors and the bacteria. You could find these on old planes and trains, as well as construction sites and disaster relief centers.

Chemical toilets have a small tank that needs to be cleaned regularly as it doesn’t have a connection to a septic tank or to the sewers.

These toilets are found in large gatherings such as concerts and cultural events, as well as construction sites and emergency centers.

These units are usually rented for short periods of time because they are expensive, with prices ranging fro m$175 to $225 per day, or up to $300 for a weekend. Otherwise, buying a chemical toilet will cost at least $700.

Camping toilets

Camping toilets are simplified versions of the chemical toilets. These are often found in travel trailers, small boats, and caravans.

Many campers refer to their porta potti as an “Elsan Disposal Point.” The word “Elsan” is a colloquial word that dates to 1924.

Another common way to describe these toilets is the “bucket and chuck it” system because most portable toilets are connected to the sewers.

Other systems are plumbed into an in-ground holding tank dump or treatment plant, and through the use of chemicals and other technologies, the toilet’s system disposes of the waste and re-circulates the water.

Urine diversion dehydration system (UDDT)

Other self-contained portable toilets have a urine diversion dehydration system. These are one-piece plastic shells, often DIY constructions made of plywood box.

The system separates the feces and the urine without flush water with an odor-free pathogen. The feces are harvested in a tank for later use as fertilizer, while the urine is cleansed and later disposed on the soil.

There are various kinds of UDDTs. The most common ones have two vaults that are used alternatively (one for the urine and the other for the excreta); whole other portable UDDTs have a single vault made from homemade materials.

The unit offers a single sitting toilet and a urine pedestal. It’s also important to note that the vaults are ventilated and removable for treatment. If there’s water for anal cleansing, the water comes from a separate vault.

 

The bucket toilet

Also called “invalid’s commode,” it’s a basic chair that resembles a chamber pot. It’s an early version of the chemical toilet that’s not connected to the sewer system either. They were popular Army & Navy Stores in Canada as Canadian bomber aircraft during World War 2 had bucket toilets inside.

 

The origins of the portable toilets

George Harding patented the polyethylene (a lightweight plastic) toilets in 1962. The materials are easy to clean, easy to carry and have smooth surfaces.

Before that, other European inventors presented different versions of a porta potty with heavier materials.