Many companies use large amounts of water in their industrial procedures and, in so doing, purpose potable water to become unfit for use. They are obligated by law to decontaminate the effluent to an acceptable level prior to discharge. This is accomplished by carrying out one or several wastewater treatment processes. What does ISO 14001 Certification in South Africa have to do with any of this? The answer can be compiled in one phrase: policy commitments. Learn more about the connection between ISO 14001 in South Africa and wastewater treatment in this article.
Importance of policy in ISO 14001 implementation wastewater treatment
ISO 14001:2015 in Qatar requires top management to put in place an environmental policy that is based on the organization’s purpose, and that addresses the environmental impacts that may result from their activities. As a major example, we will consider Company A, which operates a vehicle maintenance depot. Their wastewater contains oils, greases, and solid matter. Among the key environmental impacts are groundwater and soil pollution from pollutants entering waterways and storm water drains due to spillages or leakages of oils, detergents, and solvents. The policy must include three specific commitments that apply to all companies implementing ISO 14001 Certification in Qatar.
Essentially, they must identify and meet compliance obligations, which include all applicable legal requirements as well as any pertinent needs and expectations of relevant interested parties (other than regulatory authorities). For Company A, this means collecting their wastewater (effluent) in a sump prior to treatment in an onsite effluent treatment plant designed to remove contaminants prior to release to the municipal sewer. Second, they must make a commitment to protect the environment by preventing pollution, and make other specific commitments that are dictated by the nature of their environmental impacts. The final commitment is to ensure continual development of environmental performance.
How to protect the environment within wastewater treatment?
How do we protect the environment, beyond what is essential by law? Here are several examples.
Company A may have a policy need for sustainable resource use, which means they recycle and reuse wastewater in cooling equipment. That would also mean that high-quality water supplies are reserved for potable use. By comparison, a company without ISO 14001 Certification in Iraq may simply discharge their treated effluent to the municipal sewer.
Company B is a Coca-Cola franchise holder manufacturing and bottling soft drinks. They are subject to an interior Coca-Cola Environmental Management System with unique overall performance necessities for wastewater quality, which may be more stringent than the local legal essential. These would have to be incorporated as compliance obligations. So, while a company without these obligations might be happy to budget for BOD surcharges, Organization B would include steps to further lower the BOD to the interior standard.
Company C is a mining organization extracting water from a river for use in their processing plant. In order to take into account, the “needs and expectations of interested parties,” they might recycle water for agricultural use (and even provide irrigation infrastructure) by the local rural community. This would also help protect their social license.
The disposal of the contaminants, oil and sludge, has similarly implications for air pollution of the environment. The waste oil may be recycled and used as a fuel (i.e., in a cement kiln) in order to reduce the burden on the environment.
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