Higg FEM Q&A | How to choose the type of water source? How to treat domestic wastewater

Issuing time:2024-03-27 09:08

Higg FEM 4.0 is currently in a transitional period, and many factories may have some questions. The editor has compiled a few Q&A questions for everyone to help them bettercomplete self-assessment and subsequent verification.


How to choose the type of water source?

In Higg FEM, water is used for both production and domestic use.

Production water: Water used in the manufacturing process or operations of products (such as dyeing or rinsing water, steam generation, water used in mixtures of products, cleaning of equipment components or tools in contact with products during the manufacturing process, ETC).

Domestic water: used in restrooms, sanitation facilities, food preparation, landscape irrigation, non-contact cooling, etc.

Higg FEM requires facilities to choose the water source they use. These water sources are divided into blue and gray.

Blue water refers to fresh surface water and groundwater, in other words, water in freshwater lakes, rivers, and aquifers.

Common usage scenarios of blue water

Surface water: The factory extracts rivers, lakes, and seawater for use.

Groundwater: The factory self extracts groundwater for use (well water).

Municipal blue water: provided by municipal water supply companies, and the water source of the water supply company is surface water or groundwater (most water companies belong to this category).

Condensed water from external steam sources: Condensed water generated by purchased steam from the factory, which is collected and utilized.

Grey water is water contaminated by human activities (such as industrial and/or household water sources).

Common usage scenarios of grey water

Municipal grey water: Water generated from grey water provided by municipal authorities or other public suppliers.

Recycled water: Wastewater that is self treated and recycled by factories, also known as reclaimed water.

Reusable water: The wastewater generated by the factory does not need to be treated for reuse, and the wastewater discharged from one process is directly used for another process without treatment.

Processed external wastewater: Wastewater that has been discharged and treated by external sources (such as other manufacturing facilities) using physical, chemical, and/or any additional treatment processes. Some industrial wastewater treatment plants selling "industrial water" belong to this category (which needs to be confirmed with the other party).

How to treat domestic wastewater

The most suitable or effective wastewater treatment plan depends on various factors, including the composition and volume of wastewater, applicable legal requirements, and available external infrastructure (such as off-site treatment facilities).

Many factories tend to choose the method of treating domestic sewage as "sending it to the on-site septic tank system" during self-assessment, which actually misunderstands the meaning of the question.

According to the Higg guidelines, we first need to clarify the definitions of the followingwastewater treatment methods:

On site treatment: The treatment carried out on-site in the facilities of the wastewater treatment plant managed/operated by the facility.Wastewater is discharged into the environment after on-site treatment.

Off site treatment: Sent to municipal or industrial park sewage treatment plants throughexternal sewage pipelines, regardless of whether it goes through septic tanks. This is treatment conducted off-site by a third-party wastewater treatment service provider (which may be government or privately owned/operated). Through off-site treatment, untreated wastewater from the facility is directly discharged into the off-site treatment facility.

Septic tank system: The septic tank system is an underground wastewater treatment structure that combines natural/primary processes to treat wastewater. This process usually involves the sedimentation of solids in septic tanks, and the final wastewater is discharged into the soil through drainage facilities.

At present, the municipal sewage collection and management work in China has gradually become more perfect. Most factories discharge their domestic sewage through sewage pipes after passing through septic tanks to external sewage plants for treatment. In this case, it should be chosen to only treat it outside the site.

In addition, according to relevant laws and regulations on wastewater discharge in China, in the vast majority of cases, direct discharge of septic tank effluent into the environment is considered illegal. When choosing this, factories need to consider whether it complies with local laws and regulations.

Does the factory have solar photovoltaic power generation, should we directly report the power generation amount?

The FEM reports the direct usage of the factory. If the factory's photovoltaic power generation is directly used for the factory or partially self used and partially connected to the grid, only the direct usage should be reported, and it should be filled in "Solar Photovoltaic (Electricity) (Onsite)"

If it is all connected to the grid and then repurchased, it cannot be reported as solar photovoltaic and needs to be reported in the Purchased Electricity section.

Additionally, due to the length of the new version of the form, it is important to avoid mixing the forms for factory and vehicle energy when filling out the form.

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