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How to Mix a Brine Solution

Winter is a challenging time for portable restroom operators who live in colder climates, and water and waste freezing in your units is one of the biggest headaches. Not only is it a difficult and messy job, it can also cause serious damage to your portable toilets.

Luckily, there’s a simple fix. Many PROs create a brine solution each year to prevent freeze-up. Once you get the hang of it, it will become commonplace in your winterization routine. You can make this brine solution in your home shop and use it to fill your trucks. Store any remaining solution in your shop for later use.

Here’s how to do it:

Note: This method will not work for temperatures below 0⁰F (-17⁰C). For solutions for extreme cold, see our article on winterization here.

Step 1: Set Up a Mixing Station

There are a few options for your mixing station:

  1. A mixing or holding tank with an agitator or auger.
  2. A mixing or holding tank with a sump pump and a ½-inch hose.
  3. A mixing or holding tank with a 55-gallon drum and a pipe.

Step 2: Determine the Salt:Water Ratio

For temperatures above 26⁰F (-3⁰C), use ½ lb. of rock salt per gallon of water.

For temperatures between 0-26⁰F, use 2 lbs. of rock salt per gallon of water.

Step 3: Mix the Solution

Based on the options above:

  1. Fill your tank with water, add the salt, and mix using the agitator or auger.
  2. Fill your tank with water. Connect the hose to the sump pump. Place the pump into the tank and loop the hose back into the tank so the water can recirculate. Now, turn the pump on, letting the water recirculate, and slowly add the salt.
  3. Cut off one end of your drum and place it on the tank with the open side facing up. Put the pipe into the drum. Now, add the salt to the drum. Run water into the pipe so the water comes up through the salt, overflowing the top of the drum as a mixed brine solution.

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Step 4: Pump the Solution Into the Truck

Add the brine solution to your trucks.

Extra Tips

  • To avoid a build-up of salt water in your pump, run fresh water through it after each use.
  • Brine is corrosive to steel, so make sure to use stainless steel or aluminum tanks and corrosion-resistant fittings on your trucks.
  • Brine leaves a chalk-white stain on surfaces when it dries. Avoid these by wiping down any spillages with fresh water.
  • Use a windshield washer fluid mix to clean toilets and not brine solution.

It’s always a great idea to be well prepared, so start making your brine solution today. It’s inexpensive and it will save you down the line. Don’t wait until you get a call from one of your drivers telling you they can’t pump due to freeze-up.

Looking to Take Your Portable Restroom Business to the NEXT LEVEL? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Operating A Portable Restroom Business.”

Thinking About GETTING INTO the Portable Restroom Industry? Download our FREE Guide: “Your Guide to Starting A Portable Restroom Business.”

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