In Finland sewerage systems in rural areas are traditionally not common. As the housing density in the rural areas is relatively low, the costs are in many cases very high.
If there are sanitary reasons in a more densely populated area for sanitary piping, this will be built by the municipality, however at the cost of the inhabitants. A new regulation that will come into force 15 March 2016 will demand high standards for the treatment of waste water in rural areas. As a result of this many cooperative water and sanitation networks have been founded. In some areas the costs have been extremely high and too few properties have joined the cooperative. This has in some cases led to big financial problems.
The Water Services Act (119/2001) states that ”A property located in the area of operation of a water supply plant must be connected to the water main and sewer of the plant”
The cooperatives have to ease up their financial situation, applied for an area of operation from the local municipalities. The municipalities have as a rule, without further hesitation approved these areas of operation. The Act states the exemptions from the connecting obligation. In practice this gives an permanent exemption only to property’s where the water is carried in and out.
Properties that already fulfill all sanitary requirements and have a good water source can still be compulsory connected due to the Act which protects the economy of the water supply plant (the cooperative).
The costs of a compulsory connection is sometimes vastly higher than that of an individual treatment plant. This is against the objectives of the Act that states that the costs should be reasonable. The constitutionality of the Act is questionable as it infringes the constitutional rights.