Porta-Potties Pollute their Surroundings

The quickest way to clean the seat, walls, and floors of porta-potties is with a high-pressure hose.  But porta-potties have no floor drain.  This means that the dirty wash water runs off onto the ground outside the unit.  This photo, taken about an hour after the service company pumped out and cleaned the units, shows the spillout of wash water in front.  When you approach the unit, or even when you walk by on your way elsewhere, your shoes are already polluted with the effluent, or its dried-up remnants.  Where there’s pavement, as with these two units on the western side of Spinnaker Way, the asphalt gradually accumulates an invisible build-up of dirty matter washed out of the plastic enclosure. Where there’s soil, it gradually becomes saturated with the effluent.  Porta-potties are not only yucky inside the box.  They pollute their surroundings.  Isn’t it about time that Scott Ferris, boss of the Parks Department of the City of Berkeley, replaced these engines of filth with proper permanent sanitary bathrooms with flush toilets (and floor drains), especially when they’re so inexpensive?  

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