Legislation on the protection of water and the sea

Organisation of river basin management

The organisation of river basin management in Finland is covered by the Act on Water Resources Management (1299/2004), the Degree on Water Resouces Management (1040/2006) and the related Decree on on Water Resources Management Regions (1303/2004). This legislation forms part of Finland's ongoing implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive.

(For information on the new legislation concerning water protection (no English translation available yet) go to the Finnish page: Vesien- ja merensuojelun lainsäädäntö (Legislation on the protection of water and the sea)

  • Act on Water Resources Management (1299/2004, Finlex)
  • Government Decree on Water Resources Management (1040/2006, Finlex)
  • Government Decree on Water Resources Management Regions (1303/2004, Finlex)

Controlling water pollution and hydrological engineering

Legislation designed to prevent the pollution of water bodies is included in broader environmental protection statutes that came into force in the year 2000.

  • Environmental Protection Act (86/2000, Finlex)
  • Environmental Protection Decree (169/2000, Finlex)
  • Decree on Substances Dangerous and Harmful to the Aquatic Environment (1022/2006, Finlex)

Hydrological engineering work is controlled by the Water Act (264/1961), which comes within the administrative sphere of the Ministry of Justice. 

Wastewater treatment

The treatment of wastewater from households not connected to mains sewer networks is controlled through a Government decree that sets minimum standards both for wastewater treatment, and for the design, construction, use and maintenance of treatment facilities.

  • Government Decree on Urban Waste Water Treatment (888/2006, Finlex)

The treatment of wastewater from industrial facilities and municipal wastewater collection systems is covered by a Government decision.

Discharges from farms into water bodies

Finland's Nitrates Decree is based on the EU Nitrates Directive, and controls the use of nitrate fertilisers in all farms across the country.

  • Government Decree on the restriction of discharge of nitrates from agriculture into waters (931/2000, Finlex)

Other legislation

  • Act on Environmental Protection in Maritime Transport (1672/2009, Finlex)
  • Act on Water Services (119/2001, Finlex)
Published 2013-07-30 at 13:03, updated 2013-08-27 at 14:36