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Water supply and sanitation services in finland before world war 2

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


Water supply and sanitation services in Finland before World War II is reviewed. In Finland, fire insurance companies played a significant role in the initial development of water services. Water was needed for putting out fires as well as for domestic and other community purposes. At first, Finnish houses were insured, if at all, with the General Fire Insurance Fund in Stockholm. Important social and political reforms such as municipal self-government and universal suffrage also influenced positively the development of the sector. After Finnish cities opted for municipal ownership and responsibility, three other technical options were adopted: metering-based billing, a ban on lead pipes, and the acceptance of flush toilets. Several plans for sewer systems were made and some were also constructed in the late 1800s. Although the wettest areas of the towns were drained and hygiene improved, lakes were still being polluted due to untreated wastewater discharges. The bucket was replaced by a drainpipe, and the problems were flushed out of sight, untreated, to the nearest water systems as is typical of protosystems.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland