The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Foundation has updated its wastewater guidelines. The ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines Version 2.0 is now available with updated requirements for the textile, leather and footwear industry for industrial wastewater and sludge into one document.
As well as combining the previously separate textile and leather wastewater guidelines, the updated guidelines introduce a streamlined approach to sampling and testing for direct, indirect and zero liquid discharge.
The update strengthens the evolution of the Roadmap to Zero Programme and drives the industry to understand and reduce the impact of wastewater.
“Pollution poses a direct threat to biodiversity in terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal ecosystems. Support from the ZDHC in addressing wastewater from textile processing, will not only play a significant role in helping our industry connect the biodiversity risks but also provide practical guidelines on positive action,” said Liesl Truscott, Corporate Benchmarking Director at TextileExchange.
The ZDHC Wastewater Council was created to guide this update of the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, ensuring the parameters and limits included are relevant, stringent and pragmatic. The Wastewater Council is composed of a diverse group of independent wastewater experts from the textile industry, academia, and water treatment industry to provide credibility and objectiveness to final decisions made.
“As a wastewater professional of 40+ years it was a pleasure and honour to be a member of the ZDHC Wastewater Council. I was very impressed with the knowledge, experience, and engagement of the council members. The council not only represented the spectrum of the industry, it included some of the keystone people that lead our path forward,” stated Tim Maloney, ZDHC Wastewater Council Member, and Principal Technologist at Startup and Operations Services.
In addition to the review by the independent Wastewater Council, the ZDHC held a public consultation for ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.0 and supporting documents to provide all stakeholders a forum for feedback on the proposed updates.
“Since the publication of the first ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines (in 2016), the ZDHC Roadmap to Zero Programme has evolved to become much more of a holistic chemical management programme and this update is an important pillar in that approach. It is closely aligned with the chemical input management process and the testing advice is much more streamlined, to enable facilities and brands to demonstrate conformance and rectify issues more easily,” said Phil Patterson, ZDHC Wastewater Council Chair.
“Metals and compounds found in sludge can be released and cause negative impacts on human health and the environment. In too many cases around the world, sludge quality and the impact on the environment is poorly understood. It is crucial for sludge to be tested, properly characterised, handled and disposed of properly and for this information to be transparent and available for brands and retailers to see,” said Jimmy Summers, Vice President – Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability Chief Sustainability Officer at Elevate Textiles.