Friends don’t let friends use their bathrooms.

Spring is here and it’s time to plan your graduation parties, BBQ’s, out door weddings, picnics, family reunions, etc. Of course that means extra people in your house using the bathrooms. Sharing your bathroom with a dozen extra people can be an unpleasant experience. Particularly your husband’s friends after they’ve had a few beers. Or your neighbor’s wife Tina, you know how much toilet paper she uses!

Portable toilets, or as we call our special event units, Party Pottys, are a fantastic way to keep your house clean and free of cousin Suzy’s twin boys running through with BBQ sauce all over their hands and faces. They have to touch every thing too! Why can’t she just wash them up after lunch?

Did you know that we have portable sinks too? Oh yes we do! Now there is no reason Suzy can’t wash Billy and Bobby’s hands before they wipe them on your favorite table cloth or pair of pants. There is a place for each boy to wash at the same time. Soap and paper towels are supplied and their use is encouraged! The fresh water and the waste water are contained inside the sink. Too bad for Billy and Bobby, they won’t be able to make mud pies, and then come climb on your lap.

We have a variety of Party Pottys available for you to choose from depending on your guest list.

For your husband’s beer drinking friends, our Standard unit will usually work just fine. They are like the Party Pottys you would see at the Molalla Buckeroo, a basic portable toilet with a hand sanitizer. They are not very good for passing out in, although it has been done. Yuck.

If you are having the neighbors over for a potluck, our Party Standard is a nice upgrade without spending too much money. The Party Standard is similar to the Standard, but we’ve added a shelf, sanitary seat covers and a small mirror. Now you don’t have to worry about Tina plugging up your toilet!

If your son our daughter is getting married at your house and you’ve spent just about a million dollars on landscaping, building a gazebo and new blacktop for the driveway, you want the best for little Johnny or Jill. You will want to rent the ultimate Party Potty. The Flush Deluxe! Yes I said flush. That is the beauty of this Party Potty. It has a flushing tank, so when you lift the toilet seat you don’t see into the tank! Another great feature of the Flush Deluxe is the sink. Yes it has a flush tank and a sink! The urinal has been removed so the sink will fit comfortably. Of course soap and paper towels are included and it does have a shelf, sanitary seat covers and a small mirror like the Party Standard. I don’t think GM would like one of their brand names on a portable toilet, but if they did, this one would be a Cadillac!

Of course if you have guests that are elderly or handicapped you will need one of our spacious, ADA approved portable toilets. Unfortunately due to ADA regulations we cannot put flush tanks or sinks inside of them. They do have hand sanitizers and we can add sanitary seat covers upon request. They also have hand rails and a flat floor, there is no ramp going into the ADA Party Potty. Another use for the ADA units is for little Jill’s wedding dress. Well I’m sure Jill will be in the dress too. The idea is that big, poofy wedding dresses don’t fit in standard sized Party Pottys very well, so a large unit like the ADA is perfectly suited for them! If things get out of hand at the wedding, the ADA units are better for passing out in. It is still disgusting though.

All of the Party Pottys are pressure washed with hot water between each rental so you can be sure they are nice and clean. They are not used at construction sites, at least not until they are not nice enough to be a Party Potty. Getting old is a bugger even for portable toilets. You can mix and match Party Pottys to get the right combination for your crowd and there is a multiple unit discount!

Now is the time to order for your event as some weekends sell out. You don’t want to be without a Party Potty when Billy and Bobby are running around with BBQ sauce all over them!

Call us at 503-829-7448 to book yours today!

Is your septic tank full?

Frequently we get phone calls from folks saying “I lifted the lid and the tank is completely full”. Completely full can mean allot of things. To me completely full is just that, full to the top of the lid. If you put anymore in, it would spill over. If that is the case, you definitely have a problem. If you have too much space between the top of the tank and the top of the sewage, you likely have a problem also.

Under normal working conditions, there is some space between the top of the tank and the top of the sewage in the tank. This allows for venting from the drainfield as well as room for surge when you drain a large bathtub or do a bunch of laundry at once (which you really shouldn’t do). There should be about eight inches of space there give or take a couple of inches.

The septic tank needs to have liquid in it in order to function. Without getting into too much detail, when the poo comes into the tank, the light weight stuff (toilet paper, fats and oils, etc.) floats to the top and becomes the scum layer. This is where most of the bacteria do their work, breaking down the poo, paper and what not. The heavy stuff (by products from the bacterial action, heavy metals from shampoos, etc.) becomes the sludge layer on the bottom of the tank. This leaves the clear zone in the middle of the tank. I think “clear” is a relative term!

If the tank is full to the point of spilling over, you may have a drainfield problem. It could be a line plugged from the tank to the drainfield, or if you have a pump in the system, some electrical or mechanical failure. If the tank is too empty, it is likely cracked or broken and leaking sewage out in the ground untreated. Steel tanks will rust out. Plastic tanks can collapse. Fiberglass tanks can crack. I have also seen cement tanks that were deteriorating from the inside out. It’s not common, but it does happen.

Back to the “stuff” in the tank. The longer you go between pumpings, the more sludge and scum build up in the tank. This decreases the clear zone in the tank. That is a bad thing. In the clear zone the small particles settle out and fall to the bottom, keeping it from drifting out into the drainfield. If the little particles get into the drainfield it will eventually cause failure which will lead to the “my tank is full” and coming out of the top situation.

How long is too long? It depends on how many people are using the system, how many hours they use it each day. In other words, do you go to work or school, or do you stay at home all day? It also depends on how you use it. Do you do allot of laundry? Is someone in the house on Chemo or heavy antibiotics? Do you use allot of bleach? How about the in sink disposal? All of these things can have a detrimental effect to the bacteria in the tank, which can reduce time between pump outs.

For the average family, the EPA recommends inspecting your tank every three to five years. If you have a riser on your tank, that is an easy process. We have a tool called a Sludge Judge. This tool takes a core sample of the tank. It is recommended that you pump the tank when the solids level reaches approximately 30% of the capacity of the tank. If you don’t have a riser on your tank, the lid will have to be dug up for us to check it. Usually if a person has taken the time to dig up the tank, they want us to pump it out. At that time a riser can be installed so it can be checked more easily next time.

When we pump your tank we can see how well the bacteria is working. We will also check to see if the baffles are in place and the tank is in good condition. Usually if there is a problem with the poo getting out of the tank it will be evident to us too. At this time we will recommend when the next pump out or inspection should take place. When the time comes we will send you a reminder in the mail. If you would rather us to e-mail it, be sure to provide us with the proper address to send it to.

In summary, yes your tank is full, but does it need to be pumped? That is the important question. Give us a call at 503-829-7448 to schedule a pumping or talk about proper maintenance. You can call to just say “Hi” if you want! Of course our web address is

We are on Facebook (Clinkscales Portable Toilets & Septic Service) and Twitter (@ClinkscalesSptc), if you have questions or comments feel free to post them at either place and we will get back to you. We also run specials and contests occasionally so check in often!



New Experiences

Some of you may know that I’m a board member of the Oregon Onsite Wastewater Association (O2WA). I hold the Pumpers chair. Recently we had our annual conference. Our conference is like most where there are a number of classes of varying topics that can be attended. Classes are used for continuing education credits (CEU’s).

In the onsite (septic) industry, a number of disciplines require CEU’s to maintain licenses and certifications required to do our work. Pumping is one job that does not. This being the case, there has never been any classes that were specific to the folks who operate pump trucks.

This year, another pumper on the board, Robb Barnes of Kings Pumping, and I decided that there should be some topics that related directly to pumping. Of course he and I were the obvious choices to put on these classes.

I’ve never spoken in front of more than ten people before so I was pretty apprehensive about this. My topic was “Pumpers Best Practices”. Having been in the industry for more than twenty years, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good handle on my job and how to be professional while doing it. I’ve seen allot of different situations and have learned how to handle them, so I felt like I could handle the topic pretty well.

Since the CEU’s are not required for pumpers, I suspected that there wouldn’t be too many people interested in what I had to say. I even joked that it would be just Robb and I speaking to our employees.

To my surprise (and horror), the classroom was packed full! As I surveyed the crowd, I see many of my peers in the industry seemingly waiting for me to say something stupid. Of course they were actually there to support my efforts and I appreciated them being there.

As you can imagine I was just a wee bit nervous. Fortunately for me Robb is an ex school teacher and backed me up when I needed a short break. This gave me a chance to get a drink of water and regain my composure and thoughts.

Things went well and before I knew it my time was up. Robb and I got a nice round of applause and several people came up to ask questions or comment on what had been covered. A few folks even made a point to find me later during the conference so they could tell me how appreciative they were for a class specific to pumping.

Robb’s two classes were full also, validating our thoughts of needing courses for pumpers. It turned out to be a great success and I’m sure we will be covering more pumper related topics next year.

It was a great experience for me personally as well. I was forced to step out of my comfort zone and I succeeded!

Water, water everywhere and boy does it stink.

As promised, this post is septic related.

You may have noticed that we’ve had a little bit of Oregon liquid sunshine (AKA rain) lately.  You may also have noticed that “sunshine” standing on the ground in great big puddles.  When those puddles are on top of your drainfield, your toilets may take a day off due to the “sun”.

What happens when we have rainstorms like we recently had, the rainwater fills the ground to the point where it will not hold any more.  Obviously any more water will create a puddle.  When that happens over your drainfield, it means that you cannot put any more waste water in the ground either.

In some cases the water you try to put down the drain may come back to visit you in your bathtub, shower or floor drain.  Nasty!  It may decide to make the puddle in your yard bigger.  Also nasty!  In either case it is a hazardous situation.

Unfortunately if we pump the tank, all of that “sunshine” that is on top of the ground and in your drainfield will all make its way back into the septic tank, filling it up again sometimes as fast as we can pump it out.  Sometimes faster.  Depending on the system, we might be able to plug off a pipe and stop the water from coming back.  This will allow you to use the system sparingly until the waters recede.

A curtain drain or tile dewatering system may curtail future issues with Oregonliquid sunshine causing your toilets to take a day off.  A certified, licensed septic installer will be able to tell you what your options are.  To find one go to the Oregon Onsite Wastewater Associations website at and use the “Find a Professional” feature on the right side of the page.  If you would rather, you can call us at  (503) 829-7448 for our recommendation.

If you are having an issue with your system, give us a call.  We can help determine whether your septic system is taking a “sun” break or it’s just full of poo.

Call Clinkscales Portable Toilets and Septic Service at 503-829-7448 or check out our web site at .  Remember, be good to your septic system and it will be good to you!

Newbie to blogging….

Hi customers and future customers, Trent here.  So this is my first attempt at blogging.  I will try to make my posts interesting, useful and funny, but I cannot guarantee they will all have all three qualities at the same time.  All we can do is hope.

I also hope that someone will actually read this stuff, because typing is not what I do for fun.  I’d rather be pumping a septic tank or jetting a drainfield.  I know that “playing in the poo” doesn’t seem like much fun either but at least I’d be outside.

I can see how professional writers get “writers block” sometimes, because I’m getting it right now.  It’s hard not to just write a bunch of crap (pun intended), but something that might be a little witty and yet informative.  However I’m at a loss for something good to say.  This isn’t a good start.

If you guessed that I wrote the last paragraph just so I could use the crap pun, you would be right.  If you guessed that I wrote this paragraph just for more content, you would be right also.

I’ll stop now and spare you any more bad puns or wasted space and leave you with the promise that the next entry will be informative and septic related.


Thanks for (hopefully) reading,