What is the Rule of Thumb for the Number of Porta Potties I Need?

We took a look at the recommendations from the top twenty results from the Google search “how many porta potties per person for an event?”, compiled all of the results from those pages and combined it with our years of knowledge and experience so that we could really figure out a good rule of thumb for the number of porta potties someone would need for their event. We also took a look at OSHA’s guidelines to figure out what their rule of thumb was for the number of porta potties that needed to be available at any construction site. So whether you’re about to throw a wedding, fourth of July shindig, or you’re just looking for how many porta-lets you need on your next construction project, we’ve got it covered in this article.

What’s the Rule of Thumb for the Number of Porta Potties at a Wedding?

When we took a look at those top Google results, we saw a lot of people recommending at least 1 porta potty per 100 people. However, this article said there was a time limit of 4 hours on that number, too. If your guests are staying longer than 4 hours, you will need another available porta potty so that you don’t wind up with people waiting in lines. No one likes lines.

This article provided an entire table for the number of porta potties you would need depending on the size of your guest count and how many hours your event would last, but they recommended 1 portable toilet for every 50 people instead of 100. But they also agree with the above article, increasing the number of porta potties to person ratio after a 4 hour time period.

And there is also a common consideration among the results for the percentage of women you have at the event and if you’ll be serving alcohol. Did you know that for every gram of alcohol consumed, people will pee 10mL more? So according to that data, if you’ll be throwing a wedding for 198 people, 105 of them are women, and you know they will be eating dinner and drinking Mai Tais at the reception, you’ll need more porta potties than you would if you were throwing a kid’s birthday party with no alcohol, and less food and drink because people will be having to go more often.

A good basic rule of thumb is going to be a lot more helpful when trying to decide how many porta potties you need so that you don’t have to constantly look up the math or guess and possibly be wrong. In our experiences at AYS, we recommend that you get 2 for your wedding if you have up to 100 people, one for men and one for women. Add a women’s unit first for larger crowds, and once you hit the 200 attendees mark, add another men’s unit. And for those looking to upgrade the porta potty experience, we really recommend our portable VIP trailers.

How Many Porta Potties Do I Need at My Construction Site?

Did you know that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires that there be at least 1 porta potty or available toilet for 20 or less employees?

OSHA requires 1 Toilet and 1 Urinal for every 40 workers IF:

  • If you have more than 20 workers
  • If You have less than 200 workers

They require 1 Toilet and 1 Urinal for every 50 workers IF:

  • If you have 200 workers, or more on-site.

So, if you plan to have 100 workers on-site, the basic rule of thumb for the number of porta potties you would need is 1 for every 40 people or 2 in this case. If you had 234 people working on that same site, you would need at least 4, if not more. There is obviously no rule that says you can’t have more porta potties available for your people. Happy employees make more productive employees, right?

The Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI), which we are proud members of, gives us a table of their recommendations which we will share with you here.

Portable Sanitation Association International Special Event Portable Restroom Chart


According to this site, the American National Standards Institute states that for the safety and sanitary needs of your employees, you need to have at least one unit for every 10 workers. With all of this confusing information out there, we don’t blame you for wanting to know a good, basic rule of thumb for the number of porta potties you need! Luckily, we have compiled the information and we have the answer below.

The Rule of Thumb

Safely speaking, you need at least 2 porta potties per every 100 people at your wedding, birthday party, etc. and you’ll need to add another one if people will be drinking alcohol. You’ll also want to add another one if they will be staying longer than 4 hours. A safe (and recommended) number of porta potties on your construction site is also 2 porta potties for every 100 people you have working on the site. Remember, these numbers are a good rule of thumb so you don’t have to worry about it the next time you start planning for your event or construction project. Just figure out how many people you’ll have working for you or coming to the party and make sure you have enough potties. Simple.

But if you don’t want to do the math, give us a call at 918-272-0568 and we’ll help you figure out the right number. From construction sites to large parties to small intimate get-togethers, we’re the best in the business and we look forward to serving you.


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