Fun Facts

Background on the Portable Sanitation Industry

Background on the Portable Sanitation Industry

Portable restrooms have been used since the 1940s during the height of World War II, with the earliest units being made out of wood and metal. They were needed to provide sanitation to meet the needs of rapidly constructed military bases, industrial operations that were booming, and support similar activities associated with the rapid movement of people into areas where the infrastructure was inadequate.

The post-war building boom and the growing expectations of a traveling public provided the tail wind for industry growth over the next twenty years. By the late 1960s the portable sanitation industry was well established. Equipment had evolved and people had come to expect better sanitation options wherever they went.

In the new millennium, portable sanitation is recognized as an integral part of society in many parts of the world. Construction sites, parks, residential home building and special event venues all were expected, and now legislated, to have portable restrooms.

  • 45 billion gallons of fresh water are saved annually through the use of portable restrooms.
  • Only 3 percent of the Earth's water is fresh; 97 percent is salt water.*
  • Americans use more water each day by flushing the toilet than they do by showering or any other activity.*
  • A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day.*
  • Americans use about 100 gallons of water per day. Europeans use about 50 gallons of water per day. Residents of sub-Saharan Africa use only two to five gallons of water per day.*
  • Estimated number of portable restrooms. Global Total 3.4 million. North America 2.0 million
  • Average uses per portable restroom per week. 240 uses
  • Average gallon of wasted pumped out of toilets per service. 22 gallons each
  • Average water per flush for a fixed toilet. 1.6 gallons
  • Water saved per unit per week with 240 uses. 384 gallons
  • Water saved per unit per day. 55 gallons
  • Worldwide, an estimated 3.6 million portable restrooms are in use, serviced by a fleet of over 10,000 trucks.