When do I have to test only according to ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1?
The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 became applicable from the testing cycle of April 2023. This means that the wastewater test reports uploaded in the Supplier’s Gateway account from 1st November 2022 should be as per the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 only. The transition period from ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V1.1 to ZDHC Wastewater Guideline V2.1 ended on 31st October 2022 since then only the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 is applicable.
If the facility didn't have a flow rate, how does it define 15m3 per day?
The wastewater discharged from a facility needs to be monitored through a flowmeter that is installed at the point of discharge from the facility. In many countries this is a legal requirement, the amount of wastewater discharged by the facility should meet the sanctioned volume given in the 'License to Operate'. Where flowmeters are not installed, then the facility should take action to install. Based on the readings of the flowmeter over a 6-hour timeframe, the sampler will determine if the facility’s wastewater discharge is below or above the threshold volume of 15m3 per day.
What is the impact of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines for Suppliers?
The goal of the wastewater guidance is to eliminate the discharge of hazardous chemicals in the textile, apparel, leather, and footwear industries. Having one, single expectation makes it easier for suppliers to implement guidance and therefore accomplish this goal. For suppliers an aligned set of metrics, rather than multiple overlapping brand requirements, reduces testing. Following the 3 levels; Foundational, Progressive, and Aspirational limits, suppliers are able to demonstrate their continuous improvements over time.
Will all brands and retailers accept wastewater test reports that are carried out in accordance with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1?
Having a single expectation for wastewater quality for the supply chain makes it easier for suppliers to understand their customer’s needs and conform to the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines. It is the explicit goal and expectation of ZDHC and its Contributorship that the tests are accepted by everyone. That makes it possible to reduce the burden by not requiring individual, customised sampling and testing methods or reporting limits.
What happens if a facility does not conform to the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 e.g. a tested conventional parameter fails to meet the Foundational limit?
Where there are non-conformances within the ClearStream report the facility is expected to develop a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) followed by a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) (with a defined completion date) and submit these in the ZDHC Gateway – Wastewater Module. This must be done within 30 days from the date of the laboratory report. For more information about CAP and RCA preparation, please check this CAP and RCA template.
Where can I find a ZDHC Accepted Wastewater Laboratory to test my wastewater?
To support the implementation of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 in the value chain and to ensure a consistent level of data quality, ZDHC has established the ZDHC Wastewater Laboratory and MRSL Certifier Acceptance Programme. Only ZDHC Accepted Wastewater Laboratories, that have been approved to test against the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 can perform sampling, testing, and report results into the ZDHC Gateway. These ZDHC Approved Wastewater Laboratories must strictly follow both “the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1” and “the ZDHC Wastewater and Sludge Laboratory Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP)”, which provides a detailed framework for laboratories to determine the concentration of parameters in wastewater and sludge. Please click this link to find ZDHC Accepted Wastewater Laboratories in your region (https://downloads.roadmaptozero.com/output/WW-labs). For more information, refer to page 71 of ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1.
If I directly discharge my wastewater to a Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), do I need to inform the CETP to align with ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1?
ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 is not applicable for Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETPs). It is only applicable for facility discharge. Facilities that discharge wastewater to Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETPs) with or without pretreatment should test their untreated wastewater, effluent, and sludge as applicable only for relevant parameters as per ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 based on their discharge volumes.
Does ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines applicable for facilities that discharge domestic wastewater blends with industrial wastewater?
Yes. If a facility blends domestic wastewater with industrial wastewater, it will be considered as “industrial wastewater”. Therefore, all the parameters in ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 based on discharge type and volume will be applicable for that blended wastewater. But in case a facility discharge only domestic wastewater without mixing it with industrial wastewater, then ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.1 is not applicable.
If you are a Supplier with less than 15m3 of industrial wastewater per day and you want to demonstrate that you are implementing the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme, you are requested to upload the evidence that you are discharging on average less than 15m3 of industrial wastewater per day into the ZDHC Gateway account. That way, Brands connected with your organisation in the ZDHC Gateway, can see that sampling and testing for your type of facility is not mandatory.
Please have a look at this Knowledge Base article to see guidance on how to do this in the ZDHC Gateway.