Ask Angela Winterization

Ask Angela: What’s a winterization fee?

Hey Angela, we got an email from ZTERS about winterization fees being applied to our portable toilet rentals. What’s this all about?

Hi there, thank you for asking. Winterization fees are nothing new in the world of portable toilets, but we did want to make people more aware of it this year. You may have heard about it from your account manager or gotten an email, or you may notice it in your account at

When the temperature drops below freezing for more than a day, portable toilets are in danger of freezing and causing damage and potentially a biohazard if the tank bursts. If you’re working in an area that gets cold in winter – as many of our customers do – it’s important to perform winterization on temporary toilets. We’ve written about winterizing porta potties before, and this is something the vendor will do for you when the temperatures drop.

Most of the time, this involves using a special chloride pellet mix during regular servicing. As of the time of this writing (winter 2021), the global market is experiencing some supply chain issues and worker shortages, so we’re seeing higher costs associated with winterization this year. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to make sure everyone’s aware of the winterization surcharge. It typically runs about $5 per billing cycle.

There’s also the option of swapping out the entire tank at each service visit, which some vendors will do rather than pumping or removing the entire unit during winter months.

If you’re worried about frozen porta potties, you can always have them installed in a sheltered area or near a source of heat, such as an outdoor heating unit. In fact, installing an outdoor heater near the portable toilet area is a nice way to keep crew members from freezing when they’re using the facilities. You can also switch to portable restroom trailers during the winter months. If electricity is available, trailer units can be heated and can even heat water for hand washing.

If you have questions about winterization fees or switching out your rentals during winter, give us a call! We’re here to help you keep your sites running all year round.