Baylor University Football Calls an Audible on Restroom Service

The crew at B&S Port-O-Jons makes pandemic-related adjustments to serve changing needs at McLane Stadium in Waco, Texas.

Baylor University Football Calls an Audible on Restroom Service

Ron Orso, operations manager (left) and owners Caryn and Clayton Smith pose with their equipment at McLane Stadium in the background, as they prepare to serve Baylor University football fans. (Photos by Olivia Ogren-Hrejsa)

The Team

B&S Port-O-Jons of Waco, Texas, offers portable restrooms for construction sites, athletic venues and special events, plus septic tank pumping and grease trap pumping. The company serves a roughly 100-mile radius around Waco, from the south side of Fort Worth to the north side of Austin. It also has a contract to assemble and warehouse portable restrooms for Armal.

Company history

B&S Port-O-Jons, owned by Clayton and Caryn Smith, was founded in 1995 by Clayton Smith and a partner. In 2001, the original partnership broke up, and Smith became the sole owner. He asked Caryn, who was the office manager for a sister company, Bullet Delivery Service, to also manage the portable restroom company. Clayton and Caryn were married in 2017. For many years, the company handled events as far away as the south side of Austin and had an office in Austin, but in 2012 all the operations were pulled back to Waco. At one point the company had 15 employees and 1,500 portable restrooms. Now it has 11 employees and about 1,200 portable restrooms.

Making Connections:

B&S was the portable restroom provider for the construction company building McLane Stadium, the new home of the Baylor University Bears football team. When the stadium was completed in 2014, B&S was invited to bid on providing portable restrooms and hand-wash stations for the parking lots around the stadium. At that time, B&S had been providing restrooms for some Baylor events, such as the half-marathon running event known as the Bearathon, but it had never provided restrooms at football games. It won the contract, and it has been the provider ever since. B&S has also garnered much more work from Baylor, including other sports venues and special events.

The main event

McLane Stadium holds more than 45,000 people, and Baylor normally has six or seven home games. Because of the pandemic, in the 2020 season seating was limited to 25% of capacity and the schedule was significantly disrupted. The first game of the season was canceled, and the homecoming game scheduled for Oct. 17 was postponed.

In previous seasons, B&S would set up 100 portable restrooms and 15 hand-wash stations in the parking lots around the stadium for a Baylor football game. In 2020, the company set up 41 restrooms (Satellite Industries), including five handicapped accessible units, and 38 hand-wash stations (Stow-Away models by EndureQuest Corp.)

Touchdown Alley, the section of the parking lot traditionally used for tailgating, was closed for the 2020 season, except for some recreational vehicle parking. That used to be the location for 35 restrooms and several hand-wash stations. 

Let’s roll

The B&S set-up crew consists of Ronnie Brown, Rick Sanchez and Calvin Baker, plus operations manager Ron Orso. Before the first game of the season, they deliver restrooms and hand-wash stations to the stadium in a 2104 Dodge Ram flatbed truck and a 2007 International flatbed truck. The flatbeds carry eight restrooms each, and they also pull homemade trailers that carry eight or 10 restrooms or a 20-unit McKee Technologies Explorer trailer. The flatbeds also hold 250 gallons of freshwater. The stadium is about five miles from the B&S yard.

The restroom locations have been tweaked over the years, but they were well-settled until the 2020 season, when the number of restrooms was reduced by more than half and the number of hand-wash stations more than doubled. The restrooms and hand-wash stations normally stay in place for the entire season.

“A lot of times, they stay there and we service them between games,” Caryn Smith says. “It’s easier than picking them up and dragging them around. We leave them there and service them.”

After B&S had set up for the first game, it was canceled on short notice. The units were left in place until the next game, and some of them had to be serviced before the event, because there had been other things going on in the parking lots.

“They called us and said they had used those, so we serviced them and made sure everything was ready, and got to do the one game, then the next game was canceled a couple days before.” 

The stadium staff decided they wanted additional hand-wash stations to augment the bathroom facilities inside the venue. They also wanted more delivered to the parking lots. 

“They ended up taking about 15 of the hand-wash stations and putting them inside the stadium,” says Caryn Smith. “Of course, they understood that they have to bring them down again, because we can’t get our trucks up in there to service them. They’ve been very understanding and helpful through all this.”

For the hand-wash units in the stadium, she says, the stadium staff sometimes takes care of dumping the wastewater, so servicing those doesn’t require pumping out the drain tank, just replenishing fresh water and soap.

Keeping it clean

Game Day is normally very quiet for the PRO at the stadium. Someone from the office staff is on call and a driver is on call, but usually no one from B&S needs to be there.

“We try to stay out of there during the game, because nobody wants to see the pump truck drive around. We try to stay out of their way at an event like that if we can,” Caryn says. “They’ve got enough units. For the most part we haven’t had problems on game days. Occasionally we might get a call and have to run down some toilet paper. That’s very seldom. For the most part, we’ve got all that figured out before.”

However, it usually takes two trips to do the servicing between games. The same crew that set up the units goes to pump them out on Tuesday or Wednesday after the game, and then they will have to return to charge them with chemicals and stock toilet paper right before the next game. 

“It depends on how long there is between games. If it’s a long time, they may just pump them out and put a little water in it, but not the chemicals, and just wait until it’s closer to a game. Then they’ll go ahead and put the chemical in and toilet paper.” In the Texas heat, he likes to refresh the deodorant just before an event.

Looking ahead

The 2020 season was like no other for college football or for anything else, because of the pandemic. Smith says she thinks the stadium area was surprisingly busy despite the limit of 25% of capacity on attendance. She thinks that after months of restricted activity because of the pandemic, the public was eager to get out and do things — all kinds of things, not just football.

“We’re seeing a big increase in activity for smaller events,” she says. 

Whatever happens, PROs have to be ready to adjust. Smith says sometimes they get calls on a Friday night for an emergency supply of restrooms at a train derailment or calls for additional restrooms at an event.

“In the service industry, you have to be able to go with the flow because everything changes,” she says. “Every day is a new day.”  



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