Movable Restrooms at Assateague Island National Seashore

Movable restrooms located at Assateague Island National Seashore
Movable restrooms located at Assateague Island National Seashore.

Photo: Ashton Rohmer

Fast facts

Location: Maryland & Virginia
PMIS#: 115928
Compliance (PEPC ID): Categorical exclusion (46711)
Cost/fund source: ~$60,000 each/fee revenue
Installation time: On average four restrooms can be replaced per day, weather permitting
Type of material/product used: The restrooms are built by a company called Romtec, and are fastened to pallets, and similarly to built-in-place restrooms, they are built over tanks (see image below); it is likely possible to modify structures built by other companies
Contact information: Chief of Facilities, Assateague Island National Seashore, 410-641-1441

Background

Historically following storm events, restrooms sustained wind and water damage and had varying levels of sand covering them. To reduce these impacts, the park transitioned builtin-place restrooms to movable infrastructure (manufactured by Romtec) that can be moved to a less vulnerable location with sufficient notice and then restored to their original locations once the storm has passed. They are also moved inland during the winter season; it takes a maximum of five days to remove the structures.

Description

There are currently 14 movable restroom facilities used at the park. While there are no concrete figures, built-in-place structures would sustain damage and need to be replaced more frequently and would therefore be more costly in the long run. The structures have a lifespan of up to 15 years. The restrooms are constructed on pallets so they can be moved with a forklift; for removal, they are first transferred to a staging area in the park and then are loaded onto a tractor trailer to be moved to an inland location. The tanks under the restrooms are filled with saltwater and secured. Depending on the strength of the storm and increases in the water table, there is a chance that some tanks will pop up to the surface (this could happen with built-in-place restrooms, as well); in the event that a
tank surfaces, it must be reset, which increases the installation time.

Maintenance needs

Maintenance activities are similar to built-inplace structures; annual costs are approximately $250-$300 (parts and pieces).

Assateague Island Movable Restrooms
Movable restrooms at Assateague Island (rear)

Photo: Ashton Rohmer