Quiz: Portable Sanitation 101

Calling all seasoned PROs! Test your portable sanitation knowledge here.

Quiz: Portable Sanitation 101

See how your knowledge stacks up against these stats from the Portable Sanitation Association International, United Nations and World Health Organization. The answer key appears at the end of this nine-question quiz, below the photo of portable restrooms in a field. Enjoy.

1. Question: How many portable restrooms are there estimated to be globally?

A.             2 million

B.             3.4 million

C.             3.7 million

D.             7.7 billion


2. What percentage of people worldwide are estimated to live without an in-home toilet or portable sanitation access?

A.             40%

B.             76%

C.             32%

D.             60%


3. Question: How many ounces of waste does the average portable restroom user contribute?

A.             8 ounces

B.             12 ounces

C.             15 ounces

D.             6 ounces


4. Question: How many gallons of water are used for a weekly restroom pumpout? (Account for charge, waste and hand-wash graywater.)

A.             9 gallons

B.             17 gallons

C.             22 gallons

D.             27 gallons

5. Question: What is the percentage of wastewater generated globally that flows back into the ecosystem without any treatment? 

A.             67%

B.             78%

C.             80%

D.             83%


6. Question: How many gallons of water does the average toilet use per flush?

A.             1.3 gallons

B.             3.6 gallons

C.             5 gallons

D.             1.6 gallons


7. Question: How many schools globally do not offer any sort of restroom facilities?

A.             1/3

B.             1/2

C.             2/3

D.             3/5


8. Question: Open defecation is still common practice for how many people worldwide?

A.             826 million

B.             268 million

C.             628 million

D.             862 million


9. Question: What is the PSAI estimated number of gallons of freshwater saved globally per day via portables?

A.             125 million 

B.             131.24 million

C.             187.5 million 

D.             All of the above

Answer key

1. Answer: B. According to the PSAI, in 2014 the estimated number of portable restrooms globally was 3.4 million.

2. Answer: D. The WHO and UNICEF estimate that 4.5 billion people — or 60% of the world population — have no toilet at home or one with working sanitation.

3. Answer: A. The average user contributes 8 ounces of waste to the holding tank. Source: PSAI

4. Answer: C. According to the PSAI, the average weekly restroom pumpout uses 22 gallons of water, accounting 5 gallons for charge, 15 gallons waste and 2 gallons hand-wash graywater.

5. Answer: C. The UN estimates that 80% of all wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without treatment.

6. Answer: D. Today, the average toilet uses 1.6 gallons of water according to the PSAI. Some high-efficiency toilets will use 1.3 gallons, toilets manufactured in the 1980s averaged 3.6 gallons, and toilets made prior to the ’80s averaged 5-7 gallons per flush.

7. Answer: A. One-third of all schools globally do not provide restroom facilities or portable sanitation to their students. Additionally, an estimated 900 million students lack access to hand-washing facilities. Read more about it here.

8. Answer: D. According to the WHO and UN, 862 million individuals worldwide still practice open defecation, meaning waste is not being treated or even captured.

9. Answer: D. It’s estimated that at a 67% utilization rate 125 million gallons of water are saved, while saving 131.24 million gallons at a 70% utilization rate and 187.5 million gallons at 100%. To learn more about how the PSAI calculated this number, read here.


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