01/17/2013 03:13 pm ET Updated Jan 17, 2013

Obama Inauguration May Arrive With Shortage Of Port-A-Potties

A potential port-a-potty shortage may leave spectators at President Barack Obama's Inauguration Day standing in restroom lines instead of witnessing the actual swearing-in.

According to the Washington Examiner, event planners budgeted around 1,500 port-a-potties for the Jan. 21 event -- down from 5,000 portable restrooms at Obama's 2009 Inauguration.

While the 5,000 portable restrooms for the '09 Inauguration had to handle the refuse of record crowds (estimated at 1.8 million people), the 2013 affair is expected to be more subdued. However, some experts fear 1,500 toilets won't be enough.

"It could be a pissy Inauguration," said the "Father of Potty Parity" and George Washington University Professor John Banzhaf to the Washington Examiner.

The National Park Service typically budgets one port-a-potty for 300 people, while private companies push for ratios of one per 50, according to Fox News.

Authorities haven't released official estimates for potential crowd size at Monday's Inauguration, but the Washington Post reports it will likely be around 900,000, or half the size of the 2009 affair. If this is the case, the ratio of toilets-to-people will be around one to 600, woefully inadequate by the National Park Service standards and private estimates.

Inauguration planners may still add more restrooms, but given the difficulty they've reportedly had in raising the millions of dollars necessary for such an event, onlookers may be well advised if they arrive expecting to hold it.

Spectators equipped with smartphones also have the option of downloading the (free) Inauguration Ceremony app, which will point them to the nearest port-a-potties. The iPhone version of the app is available here; Android version here.



Presidential Inauguration History