Portable Toilets

Stormwater Information for Portable Toilets Industry

Preventing runoff from the operation of portable toilets from entering our streets and storm drains helps protect our waterways from pollution! All sources of pollution are prohibited from leaving your property and entering streets or storm drains. Only rainwater is allowed in the streets and storm drains.

Did you know…

  • The cleaning of portable toilets generates waste water that contains pollutants such as pathogens, bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

  • If this waste is not captured and safely disposed of, it can wash into our storm drain system where it has the potential to make people sick with sore throats, intestinal problems, rashes, nausea, and eye and ear infections.

  • Releasing pollutants directly or indirectly into the storm drain system is a violation of the County’s Watershed Protection Ordinance (WPO)


What can I do?

  • Dispose of waste thoughtfully: Washing of potable toilets or related equipment must be performed in a wash bay (a cleaning station designed to keep wash water contained and used to clean equipment, while also safely disposing of wastewater) to ensure the collection of all wastewater.  The wastewater must then be disposed of to the sanitary sewer. 


  • Use Best Management Practices (BMPs): BMPs are techniques or controls used to prevent the discharge of pollutants, such as human waste, into the storm drain system. BMPs for a portable toilet business could include ensuring that toilets are never placed on or near a storm drain, maintaining the toilets in good condition to avoid leaks or keeping spill equipment on all trucks that transport the toilets. 


Want to learn more?

The resources below provide suggested BMPs and further information on how to protect our waterways. Click the buttons to view available languages:  

Portable Sanitary Toilet Cleaning
General Pollution
Inspect Your Business
Materials Management Spill Response
Train Your Employees
Loading and Dumpster Areas


Know before you go…

Maintain all portable toilets in good condition to prevent leaks or spills.


Contact Us

If you would like to report a portable toilet concern, have questions about our program, or would like additional information call the County Storm Drain Pollution hotline at: 1(888) 846-0800 or e-mail us at watersheds@sdcounty.ca.gov 


Thank you for doing your part to protect our waterways!