20. Sanitary Accommodation
October 18, 2014


20.1 These guidelines apply to both enclosed and open sites although some of the guidelines are more appropriate for open sites where the necessary infrastructure has to be imported to the site.

20.2 Different sanitary arrangements are required for pop concerts in comparison with sporting events as there is likely to be a much greater number of females present. For this reason toilet accommodation must be carefully considered. Account must be taken of whether the concert takes place in an enclosed sports ground or on an open site. The duration of concerts and the availability of food and drink will also influence the provision of sanitary accommodation. Toilets for the event, both inside and outside the ground, should conform to Local Authority and Health Board guidelines and advice. Experience would tend to suggest that, although the provision of an adequate number of toilets is important, the siting of toilet blocks, their distribution, maintenance and supervision should be of paramount importance. In the case of male patrons, adequate and suitably constructed urinals are the main requirement.

20.3 The ratio of females to males at pop concerts is dependent on the appeal of the artist(s) in question but generally a ratio of three females to two males is average. However, each concert should be assessed on the basis of the anticipated audience. Arrangements should be sufficiently flexible to allow switching of blocks as circumstances warrant and depending on the expected attendance. This can only be an emergency measure; the real solution lies with providing adequate sanitary accommodation for both sexes.

Location of Toilets

20.4 Toilet block sites should be located where they are conspicuous to patrons, easily accessible, on ground which is dry and likely to remain so. Steep approaches should be avoided as these become impossible to negotiate when wet. A suitable non-slip surface, adequately drained, should be provided at each location.

Toilet blocks should be equidistant from all portions of the crowd and should be well signposted and illuminated for evening use. Urinal areas should be screened by a suitably robust screen, at least 1.8 metres high, and the area should be enclosed by appropriate security fencing.

20.5 Chemical toilets are only acceptable where main drainage is not available. Where chemical toilets are used the disposal of sanitary waste should be agreed with the Local Authority at the preplanning stage.

20.6 Care should be taken to ensure that the location of the accommodation does not obstruct emergency routes. Clear notices, (e.g., “Ladies”, “Gents”/ “Mná”, “Fir”) showing the position of sanitary accommodation should be provided throughout the venue and around the perimeter.

20.7 In areas which are likely to become particularly congested clear notices should be provided to indicate the nearest alternative sanitary accommodation. Stewards should be aware of these locations.

20.8 A high standard of structure, maintenance and supervision is necessary to reduce the risk of breakdown under the immense usage of the sanitary facilities. Sufficient staff with appropriate equipment should be available for emergency repairs. Each block should be provided with a supervisor to marshal crowds and provide cleaning and servicing. Responsibility for routine cleaning should be clearly designated. This applies especially to chemical toilets where regular clearance by suction appliances is required.

20.9 The Promoter may be required to provide extra toilets in nearby areas, viz., town/village/city, bus and car parks and approach roads. These should connect to main drainage, where available, otherwise chemical units are acceptable. These should be provided in consultation with the Local Authority and with agreement of the Health Board.

Sanitary Unit Requirements

20.10 Toilet facilities should he provided in consultation with the Local Authority and with agreement of the Health Board.

The following guideline is recommended:

Units: No. of Persons Units: No. of Persons
M. Lengths
FEMALE 10   : 1000 -
MALE 2     : 1000 8        :1000
3.6m  :1000

The above ratios are recommended for concerts of 8 hours duration or more. Sanitary accommodation provision may be reduced following agreement with the Health Board in respect of concerts of lesser duration.

In addition to the above sanitary accommodation facilities for the disabled must be provided in strategic locations.

Ideally, toilets should discharge to an existing disposal system where available. Otherwise temporary drainage arrangements may be acceptable to the Local Authority.

20.11 Wash hand basins and hand drying facilities should also be provided in consultation with the Local Authority and with the agreement of the Health Board.

The following guideline is recommended:-

(a) Female: One wash hand basin per 4 WC.

(b) Male: One wash hand basin per 5 sanitary units.

In accordance with Section 3 of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977, 1 pollution of ground water or surface water courses should not be caused or permitted.

Drinking Water

20.12 Sufficient drinking water outlets should be provided. A minimum of one drinking point per 1,000 persons is recommended. Drinking water should be from the mains supply. Where mains water is not available or where the continuity of supply is uncertain and stored water may be used, it should be properly protected, supervised and sampled for potability in accordance with the Local Authority requirements and in agreement with the Health Board.

20.13 Wells and borings can be used where quantity of yield is adequate and they comply with the Drinking Water Regulations 2 in relation to the quality of water. The minimum amount of stored water required for drinking and for water to fittings is 4.5 litres per person per day.

20.14 Drinking water should be dispensed through standpipes with spring loaded taps and adequate waste drainage. A suitable non-slip surface, adequately drained, should be provided at each location. These facilities should be conveniently accessible at areas of dense crowding particularly at toilet blocks, barriers and front-of-stage.


1. Local Government (Water Pollution) Act, 1977, Stationery Office, Dublin.
2. European Communities (Quality of water intended for human consumption) Regulations, 1988, Stationery Office, Dublin.


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