How often does your portable builder’s toilet need a pump out or service?

Provision of a clean, hygienic toilet is a basic requirement on any work site, but, do you know how often you need to clean and maintain your portable toilet on site to keep it in top working condition?

The answer to this will depend on a number of factors:

How many builders/subbies will be on site using the facility?
For what period of time will the toilet be on site?
How large is the toilet’s waste tank?
Is it a fresh water flush toilet or a recirculating toilet?
Does the toilet have a large water tank?
Has the toilet been moved on site?
Do your workers use the toilet respectfully?

The other thing to consider is whether you need a pump out or simply a service. In fact, the two are quite distinct and carried out in very different trucks. Trade Alliance members receive a regular rostered service every 4 weeks. Our service technicians will turn up to site, clean your portable toilet, check pumps and components for effective operation, add treatment chemicals to the sewage tank, replace toilet paper and replenish the water tank. We will then date stamp the facility for your next rostered service. The service technician will also check how full the waste tank is. If it is deemed the toilet is approaching capacity, a pump out may be recommended. The pump out is carried out by a large pump truck carrying a licensed waste disposal unit. Pump outs can be booked when required.

There are different types of portable toilet on the market. Some of the toilets imported from overseas have small waste tanks and therefore need to be pumped out more often to avoid bad odours or an overflowing tank. Aim Hire toilets are Australian made and all our portables have large 390 litre waste tanks (the largest on the market today). That’s approximately 600-650 uses. With such a large waste tank it is not necessary to pump out the toilet as regularly as it is to service it.

The toilet should be placed on even and stable ground and not moved around – not only for safety reasons but so the flap in the bowl is not left ajar. The more often you disturb your portable toilet, for example by moving the toilet, positioning it on a slope or even pumping it, the more likely it is to smell!

Another consideration is whether the toilet is a fresh water flush unit or a recirculating toilet. Recirculating toilets use chemicals to neutralize waste and the waste tank is used as both a flushing system and a waste tank. In Victoria, recirculating toilets are not permitted on building sites, but in some other states these and straight drops are still allowed. Recirculating toilets are permitted at events in Victoria but they need to have more regular pump outs and servicing to keep them in a reasonable condition.

All Aim Hire toilets are fresh water flush units. WorkSafe guidelines recommend sewage tanks be pumped out at a frequency that minimizes odour production and ensures the waste tank is unlikely to exceed 50 per cent of the tank’s useable capacity. In addition, WorkSafe stipulates that portable toilets should not be transported from site if they have a capacity of 10 per cent or more. Thus a final pump out is often required before a toilet can be picked up from site.

Finally, it is up to the site supervisor to ensure everyone on site maintains a clean and hygienic toilet facility throughout the duration of the build.

Call Aim Hire for more information or to book a pump out when required.

Ph: 03 9720 4455 or contact us via website