Wastewater treatment plant collaboration for data transparency

02 November 2021

LWG announces a plan to collaborate directly with CETPs and METPs to collect effluent data centrally 

As part of the LWG auditing process, LWG Auditors record details on the facility’s effluent treatment system, including information on the quality of the effluent discharged to the environment. This is a protocol requirement irrespective of whether final discharge is from an in-house tannery effluent treatment plant, a common effluent treatment plant (CETP), or a municipal effluent treatment plant (METP). For the latter two, in locations that contain tannery clusters and where LWG engagement is high, this can result in the METP/CETP being approached repeatedly for essentially the same data.  

The Leather Working Group is pleased to be able to unveil the new “collaborator” status for METPs and CETPs, to streamline the data collection process during an LWG audit. A collaborator METP or CETP would forward data directly to LWG on a regular basis, the auditor of the tanner would obtain the required effluent discharge data directly from LWG (via a confidential “auditor only” access page of the LWG website).  The data required of the ETP would be LWG audit specific such as: 

  • Permit details as identified in Q6 of P7 (name, address, discharge limits 

  • Applicable legislation defining discharge limits if not in permit etc) 

  • Discharge location (receptor), geo-reference of ETP 

  • Geo-reference of point(s) of discharge.  

Twelve months’ worth of discharge data being the most up to date available recent discharge would also be required from a joining METP/CETP. Thereafter details of monthly analysis would be required at least quarterly. However, data could be up to a further three months in arrears provided historic data covering a prior twelve-month period has been made available as part of initial data submission. 

An organisation undergoing an LWG audit and which discharges to a collaborator ETP would not be required to approach that ETP for any data. The auditor of the organisation would obtain the most recent, applicable, and necessary data from the auditor’s page. The most recent 12 months data will be used for the audit.  This will be extended to 18 months for audits undertaken after 01 April 2022 and 24 months after 01 October 2022. Direct correlation of audit period applicable to the tannery and period of data supplied by ETP would not be required; approval as collaborator allows the most recent period as listed on the auditor’s webpage as being acceptable. 

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