Airplane Lavatories 101 - Parker & Sons

You know what’s never fun? Going to the bathroom on an airplane. If you aren’t sitting in an aisle seat, you have to wake up the person next to you, who has to move around which always take some time. And you always feel a little bad about waking someone up in their peaceful sleep to rush to the aircraft lavatory, which is more likely to be occupied than not. But either way, going to the bathroom is a way of life, and if you’re stuck on a plane, it’s your only option.

Ever wonder about those toilets and what happens when you flush them? Well, we have some interesting and informative information for you!

We can all agree that when we flush the toilets in an airplane, the sound is quite intense and even aggressive. That is because unlike the old days, aircrafts now have vacuum flush toilets, rather than chemical ones.

But the reason for the intense flush is actually quite scientific. Unlike the normal toilets we use every day that have a bowl filled with water, planes don’t have water-filled toilets because of sloshing during turbulence! See, now it all makes more sense when you think about it. There is another reason having to do with pressurized aircraft cabins that won’t allow for water to flow correctly on planes, as well. But we like the first reasoning much better.

So where does it all go? Not out of the plane, that’s for sure. Rather, all of the materials that are vacuum flushed down the toilet end up in a 200 gallon holding tank through the plane’s special sewage line. Then, once the plane lands, all of the waste material is hooked up to a pump in which the ground crew transfers the waste material to another location.

But we can say that the greatest thing about airplane lavatories is that each flush only uses a small fraction of water for each flush, making them extremely eco-friendly.

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