Visitors coming to St. Joseph could be stuck in traffic when the moon blocks out the sun during the total solar eclipse Aug. 21, but others could also be waiting in line for the restroom.

Many large viewing sites and events have rented dozens of porta-potties well in advance for the entire weekend of the big astronomical event.

Ed Simpson, the manager of Rent All Equipment on King Hill Avenue, said there are no more porta-potties available for rent in St. Joseph for eclipse weekend.

“We rent them a lot anyway, but that weekend has been booked solid since the fall of last year,” Simpson said. “We just did not think that it was going as major issue as it is, and it’s continued to grow. It’s critical, yes, when you get that large amount of people at an event.”

Simpson said that they have referred people who still need porta-potties for the eclipse to explore options in the Kansas City area.

Trails West! is renting 44 units from Rent All for all four days of its event, and Rosecrans Memorial Airport will have around 140 porta-potties on site, the majority of which are coming from American Waste Systems of Kansas City.

Shannon Holsman-Lock, marketing and event sales director for AWS said they have booked porta-potties for eclipse events in Kansas City, Lathrop and Plattsburg but that they still have hundreds of units in stock.

“If people have long lines they stand in or you have overflowing toilets, that can ruin an event in a quick hurry,” she said. “They’re absolutely essential, and if you don’t have enough it can definitely change your event, your reviews and that is not something you want them to remember your event for.”

To get a quote from AWS on porta-potty rentals, call 816-966-1161 or visit

Nathan Ellgren can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @NPNowEllgren.