How to Service a Restroom while on Route

In this lesson, we'll review the proper ways to clean and service a portable restroom when on route.

Step 1: Turn Pump On

We’ll begin by exiting the truck and activating the PTO. We’ll also review the work order, checking to see if the unit requires any extra add-ons such as hand sanitizer. Turning the pump on first allows the truck to build up pressure. This usually takes about a minute.

Step 2: Date & Stock

While the truck is building vacuum pressure, we’ll grab a few rolls of toilet paper and a permanent marker to date and initial the service record sticker. If there is no sticker and this is a routed unit, one must be added. Service record stickers can be overlaid no more than three times. Without a signature, there’s a good chance the customer will call back and request that we return to reservice the unit.

Once signed, we’ll also need to replenish the toilet paper. A 2 roll TP dispenser must have minimum of 1.5 rolls, while a 3 roll TP dispenser must have minimum of 2.5 rolls.  Sometimes a work order may also specify that you fill the hand sanitizer dispenser.  You’ll only need to fill the hand sanitizer if it’s specified on the work order and when it’s less than ¼ of the way full. Before leaving the unit, we’ll also check for any problem areas that may need special cleaning agents such as graffiti or urinal. We’ll make a mental note of that for later.  

Step 3: Pump

Next, it’s time to pump the tank.  To do this, we’ll unwind the waste hose from the side of our truck and open the valve that connects the hose to our truck. We’ll then proceed to pump all the waste inside the tank. If it’s small enough, it can often be vacuumed up; however, if it’s too big or looks like something that could clog the hoses, we’ll need to collect and secure it on the truck to properly dispose of later.  It’s also important to remove any floor debris including loose toilet paper, chunks of mud, or even wrappers. Once complete, we can wrap the hose up, close the valves, & shut the pump off.

Step 4: Wash & Rinse

With the waste tank evacuated, we’ll grab blue and urinal cleaner (typically known as blast) from the side of the truck. With blue in hand, we will slowly pour for about 3-4 seconds which equates to about 5-7 liquid ounces to the tank. We’ll then give the urinal, surrounding walls, and top of the tank a quick blast w/ the urinal cleaner. If we observed any graffiti when we first inspected the unit, we’ll need to spray that down with graffiti remover (also known as Banish) as well. It’s important that whenever handling a chemical, we never set it down. This could lead to us forgetting it at a stop and potentially being without it for the remainder of the day. This is an elementary mistake that new rookies often make.

We’ll then head back to our truck to grab a brush and water hose. With our water pump engaged, we’ll use a very small amount of water to pre-rinse the roof, walls, air vents, top of tank, and floor. This will help activate the cleaning chemicals.

Once pre-rinsed, we’ll need to fill the tank. To do this, open the hose nozzle all the way. We’ll want to put about 5 gallons into the tank without overflowing it. Once filled, use your scrub brush to scrub the top of the tank and floor. If the walls are dirty, you’ll need to scrub them too. Remember, if you keep on it weekly, the task of keeping it clean is a lot easier. Once complete, we’ll rinse everything down and return the brush to the truck, ensuring we never set it down during this process or we could forget it.

Next, we’ll wind up our water hose. To do this effectively, always wear your gloves and use one hand to push the retract button, while the other hand guides the hose on smoothly. Also try to bring the end of the hose back with you to the truck before you begin rolling it up. This will prevent it from dragging it on the ground. Those valve stems are fragile and can break easily, creating difficultly for the remainder of your day.

Step 5: Fragrance & Dry

The last step is more of a common courtesy and that’s to grab a towel and fragrance spray. We’ll then head back to the restroom where we’ll towel-dry the toilet paper dispenser , top of the waste tank, and the toilet seat for those who can (and often will) use the unit right after service. We also encourage all techs to spray a few squirts of fragrance spray, behind the stack and on to the upper ventilation areas. This will keep the unit smelling clean and fresh for the next week.

I don’t think the nozzle of the hose touches anything. It’s just hanging over the edge. The drivers handle that with their gloves.