The Green Flush Restroom Story

Our reinvention of green lush restrooms began nearly 20 years ago when the National Park Service needed to address a public health issue at one of America’s most popular national parks.

Lake Powell is one of the most beautiful reservoirs in the world. During the summer, thousands of campers and visitors enjoy the lakeshore at Lone Rock Beach. Due to the summer drawdown of the reservoir, the water’s edge can be over a mile from permanent restroom buildings. The lack of convenient restrooms led to high fecal coliform levels in the reservoir resulting in multiple beach closures.

The National Park Service provided chemical construction toilets, “porta-johns”, near the shoreline but hot conditions resulted in bad odors. Many campers wouldn’t use the portable toilets and the fouling of the lake continued. It was clear that what the public wanted was flush restrooms. But how do you provide flush restrooms at a lakeshore that is continually changing?

Portable flush restroom
A double portable flush restroom at Lone Rock

As the Park Engineer for Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, I was given the task of solving this problem. I believed the best solution would be green flush restrooms located near the water’s edge and they needed to be moveable.

To solve this problem I developed the world’s first moveable, ultra-low flush restroom. These flush restroom buildings operate without power, sewer, or water utilities, and without direct road access.

The toilets proved to be completely odor-free and very popular with the public, as well as the maintenance staff who found these restrooms to be very durable and low maintenance. Fifteen years later, over sixty of these moveable double cabin restroom buildings have stood up to heavy public use and are still operating without any significant problems. Since the introduction of the beach restrooms, there have been no beach closures at Lake Powell.

The portable beach restrooms became the precursor to our Green Flush Restrooms which use the same proven concepts, but with significant improvements and new features. Our restrooms make flush toilets an option in locations that were thought to be economically or environmentally unfeasible.