MARCH 4, 2021
ZDHC provides a framework on water treatment operator qualifications to ensure wastewater is consistently and effectively treated before discharge.
The ZDHC Foundation found that unless appropriate training is in place for wastewater system operators, some manufacturing facilities will struggle to meet the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, and in some cases, maintain regulatory compliance.
With the launch of the ZDHC Wastewater System Operator Minimum Qualifications Guidelines (‘the Guidelines’), ZDHC standardises the minimum qualifications for education, training and experience required of operators and technicians operating wastewater treatment systems at all manufacturing facilities and other facilities operating effluent treatment plants (ETP). The Guidelines help facilities to identify skill gaps and prepare for focused training solutions.
Used in combination with the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines, they will enable facilities to minimise water pollution in the direct habitat of wastewater treatment plants and ETPs as well as further downstream and ultimately meet the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines more successfully and cost-effectively.
“The Wastewater Treatment System Operator Minimum Qualifications Guidelines will be instrumental in driving much-needed structural change,” said John Rydzewski, Director of Water Programs at NIKE, Inc. “They will provide an invaluable tool to ensure cleaner wastewater discharges that will enable cost-effective wastewater recycling to reduce the freshwater footprints of textile mills.”
It’s important to point out that since these Guidelines focus on the fundamentals of water management and wastewater treatment, they are relevant to any industry or organisation that concerns itself with the creation, treatment, management, or discharge of wastewater. The ZDHC Wastewater Treatment System Operator Minimum Qualifications Guidelines were modelled after the operator certification programmes that have proven to be effective in preventing water pollution through the correct operation of municipal wastewater treatment systems.
“The (Wastewater Treatment Operator Minimum Qualification) Guidelines are a landmark document for our industry, setting the minimum qualifications required for ETP operators based on the complexity of their plants, said Jimmy Summers, Chief Sustainability Officer at Elevate Textiles. “This will encourage operators around the world to increase their knowledge level, and improve the quality of the effluent from the ETPs. I am excited to see the positive impact that the Guidelines will have on people and the environment.”
The Guidelines furthermore encourage wastewater treatment operators to continue their education and invest in a long-term career in water management and wastewater treatment.
They are complementary to the ZDHC Academy wastewater management training. It’s recommended that facilities operating ETPs make themselves familiar with the Guidelines and qualifications. Information on the roll-out of the training plans will be announced via ZDHC channels over the coming months.
Visit ZDHC Roadmap to Zero, to download guidance and supporting documents around sustainable chemical management and wastewater management, including the Wastewater System Operator Minimum Qualifications Guidelines.