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SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 121/15

SafeGuardS lady buying clothes

China's water pollution has been on the rise due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. Although great efforts have been taken to keep wastewater discharge standards in pace with water pollution development and technological advances, many challenges remain.

The textile and footwear industries consume high amounts of water and also threaten the water quality in China. The latest discharge standard, GB 4287-2012, serves as a way to enforce China’s Environmental Protection Law, and to encourage the improvement of production methods used in the textile dyeing and finishing industry and the improvement of pollution control technology.

The standard covers the discharge limits, the requirements for monitoring and controlling for water pollutants in the textile dyeing and finishing industry or production facility.

The industries should follow the requirements for the pollution discharge and control in the standard and adapt necessary measures to ensure normal operation of the pollution control systems.

  • From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014, current factories should have been meeting the discharge limits for water pollutants in Table 1. Starting on 1 January 2015, current factories should meet the discharge limits in Table 2. All new factories opening on 1 January 2013 or later should meet the discharge limits in Table 2.
  • The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) of the People’s Republic of China released a modification list for the existing GB 4287-2012 on 27 March 2015. And the list went into effect immediately after publication. The modifications are highlighted in bold in Table 1.
  • A new announcement from MEP about GB 4287-2012 was issued on 17 June 2015. According to the public announcement, the requirements for anilines and chromium VI in Table 2 and Table 3 in GB 4287-2012 are temporarily suspended. During the suspension period, the requirements of anilines and chromium VI in Table 1 should be followed.
  • Factories located in areas with low environmental capacity or with vulnerable ecologies that require special protection measures, the discharge limit is further tightened as stipulated in the standard (Table 3).

Table 1: Limit value and discharge quantity of water pollutant discharge concentration for current factories (Jan 2013 – Dec 2014)

Parameters

Limit Value (max)

Monitoring Location

Direct Discharge

Indirect Discharge

pH

6-9

6-9

Wastewater total outfall from factory

CODCr

100 mg/L

200 mg/L

BOD5

25 mg/L

50 mg/L

TSS

60 mg/L

100 mg/L

Color (Dilution Ratio)

70

80

Ammonia nitrogen

12 mg/L
20 mg/L (Batik industry)

20 mg/L
30 mg/L (Batik industry)

N total

20 mg/L
35 mg/L (Batik industry)

30 mg/L
50 mg/L (Batik industry)

P total

1.0 mg/L

1.5 mg/L

Chlorine dioxide

0.5 mg/L

0.5 mg/L

AOX

15 mg/L

15 mg/L

Sulphide

1.0 mg/L

1.0 mg/L

Anilines

1.0 mg/L

1.0 mg/L

Antimony total

0.10 mg/L

0.10 mg/L

Chromium VI

0.5 mg/L

Wastewater outfall from factory workshop of production facility

Waste water discharge
quantity per product unit
[m3 of water / tonne
of standard
materials] [1]

Cotton, bast, chemical fibre & blended woven fabrics

175

The location for discharge quantity calculation should be the same as water pollutants discharge monitoring location

Pure silk woven fabric (inc. white)

350

Yarn, knitted fabric

110

Worsted fabric

560

Woolen fabric

640

Remark:

  • [1]: If product mix is different, please refer to FZ/T 01002-2010 for conversions.

Table 2: Limit value and discharge quantity of water pollutant discharge concentration for current factories (Jan 2015 – present) and in new factories from Jan 2013.

Parameters

Limit Value (max)

Monitoring Location

Direct Discharge

Indirect Discharge[2]

pH

6-9

6-9

Wastewater total outfall from factory

CODCr

80 mg/L

500[3] / 200[4] mg/L

BOD5

20 mg/L

150[3] / 50[4] mg/L

TSS

50 mg/L

100 mg/L

Color (Dilution Ratio)

50

80

Ammonia nitrogen

10 mg/L
15 mg/L (Batik industry)

20 mg/L
30 mg/L (Batik industry)

N total

15 mg/L
25 mg/L (Batik industry)

30 mg/L
50 mg/L (Batik industry)

P total

0.5 mg/L

1.5 mg/L

Chlorine dioxide

0.5 mg/L

0.5 mg/L

AOX

12 mg/L

12 mg/L

Sulphide

0.5 mg/L

0.5 mg/L

Anilines

ND

ND

Antimony total

0.10 mg/L

0.10 mg/L

Chromium VI

ND

Wastewater outfall of factory workshop of production facility

Waste water discharge
quantity per product
unit [m3 of
water / tonne of
standard materials][1]

Cotton, bast, chemical fibre & blended woven fabrics

140

The location for discharge quantity calculation should be the same as water pollutants discharge monitoring location

Pure silk woven fabric (inc. white)

300

Yarn, knitted fabric

85

Worsted fabric

500

Woolen fabric

575

Remarks:

  • [1] If product mix is different, please refer to FZ/T 01002-2010 for conversions.
  • [2] For the requirement on wastewater indirect discharge, MEP published the following amendment on 27 March 2015, but has subsequently suspended the amendment on 17 June 2015:  Wastewater that discharges into the municipal wastewater treatment plant or discharges from the municipal wastewater pipeline, must meet the requirement of direct discharge.
  • [3] The discharge limit [3] is applicable to the wastewater solely generated from the textile industry (without mixing with wastewater from other sources), and discharged into a centralized treatment plant in the industrial zone (including industrial park, development zone, or cluster of industry) which is specified for dyeing and finishing wastewater collection and treatment only. The effluent from a centralized treatment plant must meet the discharge limit in remark [4].
  • [4] The guideline value [4] is suitable for the other indirect discharge scenarios.

Table 3: Special limit value of water pollutant discharge concentration

Parameters

Limit Value (max)

Monitoring Location

Direct Discharge

Indirect Discharge

pH

6-9

6-9

Wastewater total outfall from factory

CODCr

60 mg/L

80 mg/L

BOD5

15 mg/L

20 mg/L

TSS

20 mg/L

50 mg/L

Color (Dilution Ratio)

30

50

Ammonia nitrogen

8 mg/L

10 mg/L

N total

12 mg/L

15 mg/L

P total

0.5 mg/L

0.5 mg/L

Chlorine dioxide

0.5 mg/L

0.5 mg/L

AOX

8 mg/L

8 mg/L

Sulphide

ND

ND

Anilines

ND

ND

Antimony total

0.10 mg/L

0.10 mg/L

Chromium VI

ND

Wastewater outfall from factory workshop of production facility

Waste water discharge
quantity per product
unit [m3 of
water / tonne of
standard materials][1]

Cotton, bast, chemical fibre & blended woven fabrics

140

The location for discharge quantity calculation should be the same as water pollutants discharge monitoring location

Pure silk woven fabric (inc. white)

300

Yarn, knitted fabric

85

Worsted fabric

500

Woolen fabric

575

Remarks: 

  • [1] If product mix is different, please refer to FZ/T 01002-2010 for conversions.

In addition to GB 4287-2012, there are other environmental regulations in China that are relevant to the textile industry:

  • GB 28936-2012: Discharge Standards of Water Pollutants for the Silk Reeling Industry
  • GB 28937-2012: Discharge Standards of Water Pollutants in the Woollen Textile Industry
  • GB 28938-2012: Discharge Standards of Water Pollutants in the Bast and Leaf Fibres Textile Industry
  • GB 30486-2013: Discharge Standard of Water Pollutants for Leather and Fur Making Industry
  • GB 21901-2008: Discharge Standard of Water Pollutants for Down Industry
  • GB 21902-2008: Emission Standard of Pollutants for Synthetic Leather and Artificial Leather Industry

Reference:  More detailed information for modification is available on the MEP website: [1] [2]

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For enquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919

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