Within your lifetime, it is likely that you have had to use a portable or mobile restrooms. These are bathrooms that can be moved and transported to new locations. They are commonly found at concerts, festivals, an other outdoor venues. However, these toilets have been given a bit of a bad reputation for being gross and stinky. In fact, mobile restrooms are great inventions that have helped humanity immensely.
When Were Mobile Restrooms Invented?
You may be surprised to learn that mobile restrooms are a relatively recent invention. In the 1940s, mobile restrooms were made for World War II soldiers on the battlefield. This makes the mobile restroom a military invention. When you compare that to the flushing toilet, which was common by 1851, you can see how recent mobile restrooms really are.
What is That Blue Stuff?
Think back to the first time you ever used a mobile restroom. Were they large mobile restroom trailers or was it a small plastic mobile restroom? Regardless of size, when you lifted the lid, you probably saw that bright blue liquid. That liquid is actually just a blue dye containing fragrance and biocides. The color of the liquid helps to mask anything previously in the toilet. This way, you can really only see the blue color instead of any other colors. It is important to note that mobile restrooms are different from composting toilets. While composting toilets use aerobic bacteria to break down waste, the blue liquid in a mobile restroom does not actually break down the waste. Composting toilets are only considered portable because they are typically found in portable areas (RVs, boats, or tiny houses).
What About Water?
The biggest contribution of mobile restrooms, besides allowing you to go to the bathroom in areas without a flushing toilet, is the fact that they use very little water. In fact, every day mobile restrooms save 125 million gallons of fresh water, which can result in up to 45 billion gallons a year. Something few people think about is the amount of water used by flushing toilets. Flushing the toilet actually uses more water than you use for a typical shower. In all, mobile restrooms save more water than most Americans use in a day. This is a great benefit of mobile restrooms. The ability to use the bathroom without wasting any water is something to be celebrated.
Mobile restrooms are, all in all, an amazing invention. They let people have a space to go when there is nowhere else to go.