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.
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.
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.
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.
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.