A toilet is a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human excrement and urine, often found in a small room referred to as a toilet/bathroom/lavatory. Flush toilets, which are common in many parts of the world, may be connected to a nearby septic tank or more commonly in urban areas via "large" (3–6 in or 7.6–15 cm) sewer pipe connected to a sewerage pipe system. The water and waste from many different sources is piped in large pipes to a more distant sewage treatment plant. Chemical toilets are used in mobile and many temporary situations where there is no access to sewerage, dry toilets, including pit toilets and composting toilet require no or little water with excreta being removed manually or composted in situ.
The word toilet may also be used, especially in British English to describe the room containing the fixture, for which euphemisms such as restroom or bathroom are used in American English. Prior to the introduction of modern flush toilets, most human waste disposal was done through the use of household chamber pots, or took place outdoors in outhouses or latrines. Pail closets were introduced in England and France in an attempt to reduce sewage problems in rapidly expanding cities.
A public toilet (also called a bathroom, restroom, latrine, comfort room, powder room, toilet room, washroom, water closet, W.C., public lavatory, convenience) is a room or small building containing one or more toilets and possibly also urinals which is available for use by the general public, or in a broader meaning of "public", by customers of other services. Public toilets are commonly separated by gender into male and female facilities, although some can be unisex, particularly the smaller or single occupancy types. Increasingly, public toilets incorporate accessible toilets and features to cater for people with disabilities.
Public toilets may be unattended or be staffed by a janitor (possibly with a separate room), or attendant, provided by the local authority or the owner of the larger building. In many cultures, it is customary to tip the attendant, while other public toilets may charge a small fee for entrance, sometimes through use of a coin operated turnstile. Some venues such as nightclubs may feature a grooming service provided by an attendant in the toilet.
They are typically found in railway stations, schools, bars, restaurants, nightclubs or filling stations as well as on longer distance public transport vehicles. Portable toilets are often provided at festivals and at temporary events for public use.