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Leather Wastewater Guidelines Addendum Update

May 20, 2021

Guideline Update

The latest update to the ZDHC Leather Wastewater Guidelines Addendum was made to improve the accuracy of testing and reduce the need for confirmation testing.

In tropical locations, naturally occurring organisms can be mistaken for faecal coliforms thereby increasing the possibility of a false-positive result in wastewater testing(1). By replacing the test for Faecal Coliform with an Absence/Presence test for E.coli, it improves the accuracy of wastewater testing and reduces the need for confirmation testing.

ZDHC makes the update based on information that was brought to light, expert advice and the decision of the Wastewater Council. The update will also be reflected in the ZDHC Wastewater Guidelines V2.0, and apply to all textile and MMCF wastewater. 

Visit the Roadmap to Zero website to view the ZDHC Leather Wastewater Guidelines Addendum.


(1) Excerpt from ‘Water Quality Monitoring - A Practical Guide to the Design and Implementation of Freshwater Quality Studies and Monitoring Programmes’, edited by Jamie Bartram and Richard Ballance, 1996, UNEP/WHO Chapter 10 Section 10.1 “Nutrient-rich environments may encourage the growth or persistence of some species of thermotolerant coliform other than E. coli. This possibility should be considered when, for example, an unusually high result is obtained from water that was thought to be relatively clean. In such a case, the advice of a microbiology laboratory should be sought for the determination of the more specific indicator, E. coli.”