This report is based on the results of a project completed by students and faculty members of the Center for Business and Industrial Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
There are two types of costs associated with failing to provide adequate portable sanitation facilities. The first type is that of deterioration of public health conditions. The second type of cost is the economic impact suffered by promoters and vendors.
Threat to public health increases with the size of the queue. Our observations lead to the conclusion that people are more patient than is suggested by the 10 minutes which they give as the maximum acceptable wait to use the portable sanitation facilities. This patience does have limits, of course, and these limits appear to be encountered when the queue size reaches the mid-teens. At this point people make their own arrangements--arrangements which, jeopardize public health and often interfere with the enjoyment of the event experienced by others.
Beyond this problem is that of the conditions existing within the units. This is particularly troublesome when the units are not serviced. The chemical treatment is overtaxed, splash becomes a problem and the general level of sanitation is inadequate. As a result, individuals are faced with the unappealing choices of using an offensive unit, making their own arrangements or leaving the event.
Choosing to leave is the response which has the most direct financial impact, and it represents the second type of cost associated with inadequate portable sanitation facilities. These costs can be roughly calculated. While the numbers vary from event to event, the calculations can be made for two groups: First, is the group which leaves the event prematurely because of an aversion to using the portable sanitation facilities. This group totaled only about 5% in this study, but represented a substantial loss in revenue nonetheless. An important point to notice here is that savings generated by having fewer units at one event are quickly eliminated when people leave early because of the long waits or unsanitary conditions of the portable sanitation facilities.
The second group is considerably larger and harder to influence. This is the group which has no plans to use the portable sanitation facilities. For this group (about a third of the crowd) the obstacle appears to be attitudinal in nature. They come to the event planning not to use the portable sanitation facilities and planning to stay a shorter period of time than those who plan to use them. The impact of getting only 10% of this group to reconsider and thereby lengthen their visits would be substantial. We feel that any of the Luxury Restroom line will help to impact this segment of your patrons. The flushing toilets, sinks, and modern conveniences should positively influence this segment of your crowd.