The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio are almost over, and it may have gotten you a little curious about what goes on behind the scenes. How much planning actually goes in to portable restrooms for an event with so many people attending? In 2002 we were given the task of providing enough restrooms, sinks, and trailer units to accommodate thousands of spectators for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. For all sizes of events, big and small, we’ve developed a recipe for success: experienced personnel, state of the art equipment, entrepreneurial spirit, and respect and dedication for the success of the team. Here’s how we put all of those things into action to make the portable restroom setup for the 2002 Winter Olympics a great experience for all.
For the 2002 Winter Olympics, Honey Bucket teamed up with four other portable sanitation companies to form A Company 02, LLC. By combining resources, we were able to assemble a “super group” of experienced professionals who were able to tackle this massive event. Unlike the warm, humid conditions at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, our team faced the challenge of preventing our portable sanitation units from freezing in avearage temperatures as low as 25°F. Planning for the Winter Olympics began in spring of 2001 and by mid-year, Ron Inman, VP of Honey Bucket became Project Manager for A Company 02. At that point we were organizing and gathering equipment and crew members. Overall, we had 2,600 portable toilets and 82 team members on board for the event.
State of the Art Equipment
All of the units for the event were purchased and shipped to Utah, and then began the process of assembling each portable toilet by hand. Once we had all the units built, they were loaded onto custom built double-wide trailers to be delivered to each of the event sites. At the peak of the 2002 Winter Olympics, we had approximately 25 pump trucks and 42 other vehicles, a lot of which were brand new, dedicated for use during the event. Our crews worked around the clock and through the night to do an average of 1,650 services per day. That amounted to about 30,000 services and 1,700,000 gallons of waste water during the Olympic Games.
There were quite a few challenges that our team had to face in order to make this event a success. A lot of ingenuity and critical thinking was needed to jump these hurdles. Ron and the other team managers applied their skills and experience as entrepreneurs to do just that. There was a lot involved with placement of the portable sanitation. Since there were 13 venues for the Winter Olympics, all the units had to be strategically placed based on each location. Once the portable toilets were placed, the next challenge was making sure that all the units could be serviced. Some of the areas were too steep and slippery for our standard pump trucks so we instead put a tank on an all-terrain tracked vehicle to more easily access our units on the steep slopes. We also rigged up a system that utilized a central pump inside one of the portable toilets up on the hill and used a series of hoses, which allowed us to pump waste back down the hill to the pump truck at the bottom. Every site is a little different and presented unique challenges. That’s where proper planning and the entrepreneurial spirit really comes into play.
Respect and Dedication
Our team’s success was the main priority and a major key to having a successful event. Each of the five businesses that made up A Company 02, LLC contributed their equipment and services as equally as possible to ensure we had everything we needed for the event. Our command team was a 24 hour operation with managers from each company supervising and controlling any and all issues that could possibly occur at any given moment. Also, because the 2002 Winter Olympic Games began just months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, everyone involved with the event was on high alert. We were all given special clearance passes as security was very tight, and we were subject to random searches. Our team worked closely with officials and we showed we could operate with efficiency even under the pressure of this high profile atmosphere.
At first glance, a portable toilet might seem like a common occurrence, but it really goes way beyond just putting a plastic unit at an event. We plan out and organize each area where portable toilets are to be placed, we assemble our team and equipment to properly service the restrooms on a consistent schedule, and do everything we can to exceed your expectations. Experienced personnel, state of the art equipment, entrepreneurial spirit, and respect and dedication for the success of the team really is how we are able to take on a large scale project like providing portable sanitation for thousands of people for weeks at a time and be successful with it.