Family run business

Family run business

New Modern Fleet

New Modern Fleet

24hr Emergency Technicians

24hr Emergency Technicians

Environmentally Friendly

Environmentally Friendly

Are portable vacuum toilets better than traditional flushing toilets?

15 May 2023

The eco-friendly alternative to a traditional flushing toilet, what is a vacuum toilet and are they better? Our latest guide has all the answers.

As part of our extensive range of luxury toilet trailers to hire, we also supply portable vacuum toilet pods. While everyone is familiar with the stereotype of a portable toilet on a building site, fewer are aware of vacuum toilets and whether they are better than the traditional toilet.

What is a vacuum toilet?

A vacuum toilet is a toilet that doesn’t use a traditional flush system to remove waste, instead employing the vacuum suction system found in aircraft toilets. 

How portable toilets work

Flushing toilets – traditional portable toilets use a flush system which removes waste to a holding tank under the toilet seat. The holding tank contains chemicals which break down the waste, killing germs and removing bad odours. The water used for the flush is stored in a water tank in the toilet unit. The holding tank has to be emptied regularly and the waste transported to an approved site. While the tanks are emptied, the toilets are out of service.

Vacuum toilets – instead of using water to remove waste, a vacuum toilet uses a suction method that uses low air pressure. The toilet bowl is sealed off by a sliding valve and when it is flushed, and a reduced amount of water will rinse the toilet bowl and partly fill it. Air is pumped out of a hidden tank, creating a vacuum that sucks the waste away when the valve opens. The waste is transferred to a larger holding tank by air entering the hidden tank; the holding tank can be emptied without the toilets coming out of service. 

The benefits of a vacuum toilet

More hygienic – as the vacuum toilet uses air, there is a reduced chance of splash from the toilet bowl which prevents the spread of bacteria.

Reduced blockages – the absence of a macerator reduces the risk of blockages.

Chemical-free – as waste water is not used for flushing, there are no chemicals used in the vacuum system

Lower water consumption – as a vacuum toilet uses water only to rinse the bowl, it uses just half a litre of water per flush. This is compared to around 6-9 litres per flush for a traditional toilet.  

Reduced waiting time for users – as users do not have to wait for a vacuum toilet to complete a flush cycle, more can pass through the vacuum toilet pods in the same amount of time. This greatly reduces queueing time at high footfall events.

What events are vacuum toilet pods suitable for?

The steady flow of fast moving traffic through the units makes them perfect for high footfall, large scale events including sporting fixtures and music festivals. They are also suitable, thanks to their indisputable eco-credentials, for organisers concerned with the environmental footprint of their event.

Portable vacuum pods from Fortis Hire

Our fleet of vacuum toilets can be supplied as luxury vacuum male pods, luxury vacuum female pods and as a luxury urinal pod and, while they are no better or worse than our traditional luxury portable toilets, they are more suitable for certain events.

As suppliers, we are aware of the environmental impact of our industry and vacuum pods enable us to reduce our carbon footprint and our fuel usage when delivering them – traditional units are transported one at a time, necessitating several trip depending on the number being delivered, compared to 2 vacuum pods plus one vacuum tank that can be delivered in one load. They therefore enable us, and our clients, to make positive environmental contributions.

To find out more about portable vacuum toilet pods and how they can help the green credentials of your next event, contact our sales team by telephone on 01525 643850 or email at

Let us help you find the right luxury toilet solution for your event
Get in touch today!
Fortis Hire

How can we help?