Success Story – Finnish Water Services
Finland is known for its beautiful nature, forests and over 180,000 lakes. Finland’s water resources per capita are among the biggest in the world. The quality of our surface and ground waters is excellent. Due to our close relationship with nature and water, Finland has profiled itself as the country with top quality water know-how. We Finns are proud of our water knowledge. Tap water is drinkable as such anywhere in Finland – no need to carry bottled water with you.
Besides Finland’s high quality water services produced mainly by municipality-owned public water and wastewater utilities, we are also proud of Finland’s excellent water administration and management. Finland has high quality knowledge and technology to offer for other countries which wish to learn from our successful experiences. This book illustrates these success stories more.
Finland is a large country but not densely populated. About 90 per cent of the population (5,5 million) live in areas covered by a centralized water supply. Also over 80 per cent of population have access to the public sewerage systems, which are all connected to wastewater treatment plants. A bit over 60 per cent of the drinking water supplied originates from groundwater or artificial groundwater and almost 40 per cent from surface water. The raw water quality has been ranked among the very best in Europe.
Wastewater treatment in Finland has a long history and good track records. The first activated sludge plant for municipal wastewaters was constructed already in the 1930s. Enhanced removal of nutrients from wastewater was started in the 1970s. The average reduction rate of organic matter (BOD7) is about 97 per cent, phosphorus over 95 per cent and nitrogen about 55 per cent.