PURPOSE

The intent of these guidelines are to protect the health of individuals, to reduce the spread of disease, to improve the livability of our communities and to make life viable for those who would otherwise hesitate to participate in activities that put them out or reach of toilet facilities.

Click here for the pdf version.

SCOPE

The scope of this document is limited to public areas outside of buildings.  This document is not intended to cover restroom access in the workplace nor is it intended to address toilet availability within buildings.  Existing ADA regulation address accessibility

DEFINITIONS

As used in this document:
“Toilet room, – a room maintained within or on the premises of any building, containing toilet facilities.

“Urinal” – a toilet facility maintained within a toilet room for the sole purpose of urination.

“Toilet facility,” – a fixture maintained within a toilet room for the purpose of defecation or urination, or both.

“Restroom” – A room equipped with toilets and lavatories for public use. [ term is often used to describe access controlled corporate facilities]

“Public restroom” – A room equipped with toilet facilities unarguably intended for public use

“Lavatory” – A room equipped with washing and often toilet facilities

“Bathroom” – A room equipped with facilities for taking a bath or shower and usually also containing a sink and toilet.  In the context of this document “going to the bathroom” indicates the need void bowel or bladder.

PSU – A portable sanitation unit. (portable chemical toilet) with a 200 gallon capacity.

Application based on focused locations

Municipalities

Every incorporated municipal district, borough, city, town, or village, or other entity of local self-government shall provide access to restrooms for the public at all times of the day and at any time of the year.

In jurisdictions unable to provide dedicated public facilities, or at those times of the day or year when dedicated public facilities are closed, written and published policy should exist to allow access by the public to public toilet facilities in government buildings that are continually (24X7) operational.
[ Examples: police, fire stations, and hospitals]

Toilet facilities shall be provided in accordance with table 1 of this section. Facilities to be provided for each sex.  Where toilet rooms will be occupied by no more than one person at a time, can be locked from the inside, and contain at least one water closet, separate toilet rooms for each sex need not be provided. Where such single-occupancy rooms have more than one toilet facility, only one such facility in each toilet room shall be counted for the purpose of table.

Table 1

Toilet Facilities for the maximum typical 1 hour peak persons count within a 500 meter radius shall have at least shall comply with FEMA Special Events Contingency Planning toilet guidelines.

Note: Chemical Toilets have capacity limitations that may require additional units

.1 – Provide access to toilet facilities for the public in business and retail districts through out the period that pedestrian activity (300 visitors per hour) can typically be expected.

.2  If within 500 meters of an existing toilet facilities, signs with directions to an restroom known to be open is acceptable.

.3 – When for whatever reason an established well known restroom must be closed for more then 10 minutes, alternatives must be provided.

(a) Redirection to an operational facility within 500 meters.

(b) Portable Toilet Alternatives

(c) Published policy that require toilet service and cleaning persons to operate without closing the facility.

.4 Include restroom locations on municipal maps and with promotion materials.

.4 a Provide seasonal and time of day limitations with alternatives.

.5 Municipal Visitors Guides, Visitor Information Specialists and those employees such as Police Officers who interface with the public should be required to know and provide directions to public toilet facilities.

Special Events

For Special Events for which there are no permanent toilet facilities, PSUs should be provided as follows.

.1 For a typical distribution of men, women and children, there must be 1 toilet for every 300 people.

.2 For an Event attended primarily by women and children there should be 1 toilet for every 200 people.

.3 For an even distribution of men and women at an event where alcoholic beverages are served, there should be 1 toilet for every 240 people.

Note: based on PSU holding capacities.

Popular Locations

.1 Any location typically expected to have pedestrian activity exceeding 2000 people per day must have toilet facilities within 500 meters.

.2 Any location, permanent or otherwise, typically expected to accommodate a peak average concentration of 50 persons per hour must provide additional toilet facilities if the nearest restrooms facility is greater then 500 meters
Linear Parks and Trails

.1 During the month of the year where the peak monthly temperature is above 50, any multi-use trails system accommodating 2000 trail users per day shall provide toilet facilities at no greater then five kilometer intervals.

.2 During the months of the year where the peak monthly temperature is below 50, any multi-use trails system accommodating 500 trail users shall provide toilet facilities at no greater then five kilometer intervals.

.3 Trail and Park maps should include restroom location symbols and time of day availability information.

.4 PSU should be substituted for unexpected closure of permanent facilities
Athletic Fields

.1 Athletic fields must have toilet facilities within 500 meters during team activity.

.2 Toilet facilities should be provided at such locations when at least one team event per week is expect.

.3 Toilet facilities should be provided at athletic fields when during a given week there are day when usage reaches 50 individuals per day.

Marinas

.1 All Marina Facilities must provide restroom facilities. Portable facilities located on shore are acceptable.

Bus Transit Systems

Application based on point to point Transit

Toilet facilities at transit systems should meet the minimum toilet fixture requirements of the applicable municipal building code.  Where such code is not applicable . The transit authority will provide public restrooms at transit centers that meet the following criteria.

.1. The transit center has been designed and sited principally to facilitate transfers between
different routes.

.2. The transit center is to be developed off-street on property that the county either owns or
controls through a long-term lease.

.3. County service through the transit center makes significant use of “timed meet” schedules.

.4. The transit center has capacity for eight or more in-service coaches; layover bays or
terminal space do not count toward meeting this capacity requirement.

.5. There is adequate space on the transit center platform to provide a restroom facility without compromising operating requirements.

.6. A daily platform population of 2,000 or more patrons is projected. This includes transfer activity as well as trips originating or terminating at the center.

.7. At least 25 buses per peak hour pass through the transit center.

.8. Independent of any decision to provide a public restroom, the level of operational activity at the transit center justifies the on-site assignment of a service supervisor for all or a portion of the operating day.

..8 (a). If these criteria are met, the public restroom will be a uni-sex facility that will be used both by
county employees and by the general public. The restroom will only be available to the public for those
hours when a department representative is scheduled to be on-site to manage the service. During those
hours, public access to the facility will be controlled by this supervisor.

.8 (b)  If a local jurisdiction or adjacent property owners wish to expand hours of public access to the
restroom beyond those available through the department’s normal staff assignments, the local jurisdiction
or property owner and the county may elect to enter into an agreement to share the additional operating
costs for expanded restroom hours; provided, that such agreements shall be approved by the council as
required ordinance and/or applicable state law.

Bbased on King County WA. 28.94.100

Mass Transit Rail Systems

Toilet facilities at transit systems should meet the minimum toilet fixture requirements of the applicable municipal building code.

.1 Transit Stations without open public restroom access, should published Policy that requires station employees to open access controlled station restrooms.

.2 Portable toilets, preferably with waterless hand cleaner, should be placed in discrete, but safe areas, adjacent to stations.

.3 Stations with large sprawling parking lots should have a portable toilet in the area located the greatest distance from the station.
Commuter Parking Lots

.1 All  commuter parking lots with a capacity of 10 or more vehicles must provide TF.

.2  Placement should consider esthetics, security, and maintenance.

.3 If used, PSU’s should have a sufficiently wide base or employ other measures to prevent tipping from wind or by vandals.

SUPPORT AND DISCUSSION - BACKGROUND

Federal, State and Local Code exists to protect the health of those who need to void when away from home.   These regulation require toilets at work sites, in buildings, at food establishments, and at special events.

Legislation does not necessitate the availability of toilets in all public areas.  There are:

  • Commuter mass-transit systems with no provisions for patrons experiencing urgency.
  • Municipalities where public restrooms are available only in buildings that are closed evenings and weekends [1]
  • Athletic Fields without facilities. [2]
  • Parks with year-round activity where restrooms are closed in the winter to prevent freezing [3]
  • Tourist Areas without facilities except for restaurant patrons

Click here for additional Support pages.

The various toilet availability Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) issued by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration  (OSHA) are enforceable but OSHA’s authority is limited to the work place.  The various State building codes are primarily based on national model code [ex International Code Council’s Plumbing Code] that are limited to buildings and structures.

SUPPORT AND DISCUSSION - PROPOSED SOLUTION

Develop a draft concept document to serve as a vehicle to get to formal guidelines or mandates

Any permanent or anticipated location, event, activity or entity expected to accommodate X amount of peak average persons per hour within a radius of R must have Y toilets. [Existing ADA regulation would address accessibility]. Each situation below would probably have a different formula. Transit systems would be X time in transit based. Linear Trails would be every X miles

However worded, would expect end result to be Code that is not limited to, but that supports those who want,
(1) Portable Toilets at Commuter Parking Lots
(2) Public Restrooms at Bus or Rail Transit Stations (yes – there are city bus stations without them)
(3) Public Restrooms at Athletic Fields
(4) Reasonably spaced chemical toilets along high activity recreational [bike] trails in developed areas.
(5) Available public restrooms [or alternatives] in business and retail districts through out the period that pedestrian activity can typically expected.

Support Example for (5) – At Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach after they began to lock public restrooms at 10:30 PM they found it necessary to enact a ‘public urination law’. On summer weekends significant pedestrian boardwalk strolling continues past midnight. A more human alternative to the new law would have been a sign at the closed restroom, directing those in need to a police sub-station toilet.

OPEN ISSUES

Consider formulas –  EX Any permanent or anticipated location, event, activity or entity expected to accommodate X amount of peak average persons per hour within a radius of R must have Y toilets.

Transit systems require a  ‘time in transit’ consideration

Linear Trail Parks [bike trails] require a distance consideration

However worded, Code must supports those who want,

(1) Portable Toilets at Commuter Parking Lots
(2) Public Restrooms at Bus or Rail Transit Stations
(3) Public Restrooms at Athletic Fields
(5) Available public restrooms [or alternatives] in business and retail districts through out the period that pedestrian activity can typically expected.
Adequate directions to the toilets for both foot and car users, including address, time of operation, and general directions.

Civility Laws – before a civility law is violated, toilet facilities must be available.

Do regulation exist to cover long-haul bus and rail transit ?

ICC Councils & Committees

International Plumbing & Mechanical Code Council (IPMCC)  800-423-6587 3410
INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS –  Public Proposal and Comment Forms

[1] Fifty years ago people away from their homes could typically find relief at ‘Comfort Station’ or in a pinch use the restroom in a School or Firehouse.  Many cities without providing an alternative closed Comfort Stations.  With the growth in crime and the fear of terrorism, in some towns after normal business hours it’s become difficult to access even the Municipal Building that houses the Police Department.  Beside Visitors, Bus and Taxi Drivers are beginning to comprehend this painful reality.

[2] Young women in particular are loath to play mixed league sports without at least a chemical toilet.

[3] Such situations can be resolved with a portable toilet or providing direction if an alternative restroom is nearby.

[4] United State Code – Code of Federal Regulations
Currently the United States does not have authoritative comprehensive availability toilet facilities requirements for public areas out side of buildings.  Listed below are known guidelines available from  government agencies, educational institutes, industry.  Also included are requirements from other countries.   These guidelines and requirements are for the most part limited in scope or applicability.

Existing Code
New Zealand’s NZS 4241:1999 : Public toilets

Provides design information and advice on the numbers, location, type and quality including features and fittings for public toilets in any location. Guidance on cleaning and sanitation is also provided. Toilet facilities composed of all-gender, single, fully enclosed, self-contained units are proposed. Traditional separate gender facilities are also covered.The NZS code is not available.  Below is a reference to a relevant section.

Tasmanian Plumbing Code 1994
PART C2 – SYSTEM ACCREDITATION REPORT No. BSR0387/2001
CONDITIONS OF ACCREDITATION
1. General

The installation and operation of the systems must satisfy the following conditions, the conditions of the permit issued by the relevant permit authority and the relevant provisions of the Tasmanian Plumbing Code.

[ deleted text ]

1.5. … The calculation of the number of pedestals required in public toilet facilities is based on the population in an area, the length of stay of that population, the arrival rate at the toilet facility, the gender ratio, and the occupancy time. Further information on these factors are discussed and example calculations given in NZS 4241 Public Toilets.

Source:  Tasmanian Plumbing Code 1994 PART C2 – SYSTEM ACCREDITATION REPORT No. BSR0387/2001

See also FEMA Special Events Contingency Planning Toilets and OHSA’s 29 CFR 1910.141(c)(1)(i): Toilet Facilities

National Park Service – National Capital Region Requirements for Special Events Held on Parkland
From Part 1 Section 7 Comfort Facilities

If attendance is expected to exceed the capacity of nearby NPS public comfort facilities, or if noe exist in or near the requested park area, the Permittee must provide portable, temporary toilets with sufficient capacity to accommodate anticipated attendance.  The general guideline is a minimum of one (1) portable toilet per three hundred (300) people.
Consider formulas –  EX Any permanent or anticipated location, event, activity or entity expected to accommodate X amount of peak average persons per hour within a radius of R must have Y toilets.

Transit systems require a  ‘time in transit’ consideration

Linear Trail Parks [bike trails] require a distance consideration

However worded, Code must supports those who want,

(1) Portable Toilets at Commuter Parking Lots
(2) Public Restrooms at Bus or Rail Transit Stations
(3) Public Restrooms at Athletic Fields
(5) Available public restrooms [or alternatives] in business and retail districts through out the period that pedestrian activity can typically expected.
Adequate directions to the toilets for both foot and car users, including address, time of operation, and general directions.

Civility Laws – before a civility law is violated, toilet facilities must be available.

Do regulation exist to cover long-haul bus and rail transit?