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Toilet facilities at events

The venue must have sufficient toilet facilities with hand wash stations for guests. Most indoor venues are equipped with sufficient toilet facilities, but when needed, you can increase the capacity with portable toilets or the toilets in nearby facilities.

At many outdoor venues, there are no toilet facilities and in most cases, portable toilets that do not require tap water or a sewerage connection will be transported to the area. Specially designed ecological dry toilets, toilet trailers and container toilets suitable for running water and a sewerage connection are also available. Please note that the toilets must not be flushed to storm drains under any circumstances! Check the availability of sewers and running water with the venue owner in good time. Remember that for longer events, toilets without a sewerage connection may have to be emptied during the event. Portable toilet suppliers can assist you in these matters.

If you are organising a small-scale outdoor event where food or alcohol are not served, you can ask if it would be possible to use the toilet facilities of a nearby building. In this case, it is advisable to have a security steward supervise the area.

Toilet facilities should be placed in a suitable location on the site, and there must be clear signage pointing to their location in the area. According to the guidelines provided by the Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira, dry toilets must be placed on compact soil in a manner that prevents any health risks arising from smells or the contamination of household water or soil. In addition, the toilet must be properly ventilated in a manner that prevents the smells from spreading elsewhere in the premises.

A hand wash station must be provided in connection with toilet facilities. If it is not possible to provide a hand wash station due to the lack of running water and plumbing, for instance, disinfecting liquids or hand towels can be provided instead. Remember to place waste bins in or near the toilet facilities.

Number of toilets needed

Toilet facilities should be provided for men and women, and the accessibility of toilets for the disabled should be taken into account. At many events it may also be advisable to have a few unisex toilets available. Half of the toilets for men can be replaced with an equivalent number of urinals.

Consider the event’s guest demographics when planning the toilet facilities: generally, a higher number of ladies’ or unisex facilities is needed than men’s. Also consider whether a potty chair, changing table, toilet seat reducer ring or other sanitary equipment for children are needed at your event.

The Finnish National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira provides guidelines that include instructions for estimating the number of toilet facilities needed at events, and portable toilet suppliers can help you to determine the number of toilets needed at your event. You can also contact the City of Tampere’s health department (Tampereen kaupungin Terveydensuojelu) or Visit Tampere for consultation.

The total number of toilets needed depends on the nature of the event, and it may be lower than suggested in the below guidelines if the event is short or there are public toilet facilities available near the venue. Correspondingly, if the event lasts longer that five hours or if alcohol is served at the event, the number of toilets should be higher. The numbers in the table below should only be used as a starting point for estimating the actual number of toilets needed.

Guests For women For men Accessible to disabled visitors
50 or fewer 1 1 1
51 to 250 2 2 1
251 to 500 3 3 1
501 to 750 5 4 1
751 to 1,000 6 5 1

1,000 or more

per 250 guests

+1 +1 1 in 1,000

Valvira guidelines are available here in Finnish. The nature of the event has a major effect on the actual numbers needed.


Pro tip: If you notice that, for example, there is a long queue for the ladies’ toilets while some of the men’s toilets tend to be vacant, simply switch the signage to turn a couple of men’s toilets into women’s toilets.

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