RESTROOM FACILITIES


IN THIS SECTION

Restrooms

Location

Maintenance

ADA Compliance

All Gender Restrooms


Restrooms 

The recommendation for provision of toilets is one for every 100 people. Studies indicate that adequate restroom facilities have a significant influence on attendance and total revenue.  Under normal circumstances, most persons will use sanitation facilities once every four hours.  Weather conditions and consumption of food, liquids, beer and other alcoholic beverages will increase usage by 30% to 40%.  

Adequate and accessible restroom facilities are often limited or not available at special event sites including park and recreation facilities.  In these cases, event organizers must supply portable restrooms. Portable restroom facilities and hand washing facilities are available from commercial vendors.  

If food is being served, restrooms with hand sinks with hot and cold running water are required to be placed within two hundred (200) feet of the food booths for use by food handlers.  These facilities can be the same restrooms as the ones used by the public.  

Location 

Portable restroom placement is key to the success of your event, both in terms of attendees and the surrounding neighborhood.  When identifying appropriate placement locations, keep in mind neighboring businesses, residents, and pedestrian or traffic flow.  For example, portable restrooms should not be placed directly outside a business entrance or high-traffic flow area.  Your portable restroom placement must be included in the map(s) you provide with your permit application, which is reviewed and approved by the Special Events Committee.  

Maintenance 

The more units that are provided for the event, the nicer the units will remain.  This gives the customer more incentive to return the next time.  Adequate maintenance and housekeeping must be provided.    During large events requiring more than ten (10) units for more than one day, it is recommended that a service person be on standby duty at the event.  This staffing enables the toilet contractor to handle adequately any sanitation problem that may arise.   

ADA Compliance 

Special events must provide portable restrooms that are accessible for wheelchair users.  The larger size units are also helpful to people who use aide dogs, people who use walkers, parents with small children and others.  Of the total number of toilets at a single location, at least 5% but not less than one toilet must be of the accessible size.  The accessible units should be marked with the international symbol of access (blue and white wheelchair logo).  

All Gender Restrooms 

In 2015, Seattle instituted a requirement for all-gender restrooms via Seattle Municipal Code 14.07.010. The ordinance requires all single-occupant restrooms in public places in Seattle be available to people of any gender. It allows use of single occupant restrooms by any person, regardless of sex or gender identity, and prevents those restrooms from being restricted to a specific sex or gender identity. Restroom facilities are required to post appropriate signage indicating restrooms are open to all genders and cannot post signage to indicate a restroom is restricted by gender.  Special events are required to comply with this ordinance. For more information and examples of required signage, see Office for Civil Rights.

Additional Resources 

Portable Sanitation Association provides information, guidelines, and best practices about portable restroom facilities for events.