Application for exemption from joining the water utility’s water supply and sewerage network

A property located in the area covered by the water utility’s water supply and sewerage network must join the network. It is possible to apply for exemption from the obligation. Its granting is conditional on, among other things, circumstances that make joining the network unreasonable, the sufficient availability of high-quality domestic water and the proper treatment of wastewater.

A property located in the area covered by the water utility’s water supply and sewerage network must join the network. The demand is based on the Water Services Act. The act aims to protect the environment and human health. The extension of the area of operation in Espoo is described in the water services development plan 2021–2030.  

Joining the network 

More information about joining the water and wastewater system is available on the Helsinki Region Environmental Services Authority’s (HSY)(external link) website. In the costs of joining the water supply and sewerage network, you can take advantage of the tax credit for household expenses. Elderly persons and persons with disabilities can apply for a grant from the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA).

Applying for exemption from joining the network

The Environment and Building Control Department will grant the property an exemption from the obligation to join the water supply and sewerage network if the requirements specified in the act are met. You can apply for exemption from joining the water supply network, sewerage network or both. The application is made for the entire property at one time, even if the property has several buildings or an agreement to divide the possession between joint owners.

The exemption is granted on a temporary basis. A new application must be made at the end of the period or if the owner of the property or conditions on the property change: for example, deterioration in the quality of domestic water or an increase in the number of inhabitants and volume of wastewater generated.

Applications will be processed in the order in which they are received. They will be consulted with the authorities concerned and with the neighbours.

How to apply

It is important to complete the application carefully and to enclose all the requested appendices. The exemption may only be granted if the applicant provides in the application all the information required to satisfy the conditions laid down by law.

The application must include:

  • reasons that make joining the network unreasonable.
  • a professional’s estimate of the cost of joining the network, if the reason is the excessive cost.
  • only for water supply network exemption:
    • an attached appendix including the results of a well water quality test not more than one year old. Necessary values (Decree relating to the Quality and Monitoring of Water Intended for Human Consumption): turbidity, colour, odour, pH, iron, manganese, Chemical Oxygen Demand, chloride, ammonium, nitrate, nitrite, fluoride, Escherichia coli and coliforms and, for bore wells, radon and arsenic.
  • only for sewerage network exemption:
    • a description of the buildings and water fixtures in which wastewater is produced.
    • a description of all wastewater treatment systems in the property.
    • an attached map drawing showing the nearby wells, location of wastewater systems, and discharge of wastewater on the property and from the property up to a ditch or water system.
    • an attached consent from the neighbour, if the water treated in the wastewater system is finally discharged into a ditch at the property boundary or a ditch or water system on the neighbour’s property.

Please also refer to the instructions provided with the application form, including more detailed instructions and examples of the description and map drawing of the wastewater discharge.

Send the application to the City of Espoo Registry Office at P.O. Box 1, 02070 CITY OF ESPOO or

Conditions for exemption

In order to obtain exemption, all of the following conditions must be met (Water Services Act, Section 11):

  • Joining the network would be unreasonable, taking into account the costs of building the property’s water supply equipment, the costs of connection, a low need for the water utility’s services, or any other similar special reason.
    • Whether joining the network is financially unreasonable is generally only assessed on the basis of the costs of joining, not on the basis of the property owner’s economic situation.
    • A low need for the water utility’s services means that the property uses little domestic water and produces little wastewater; for example, household water is carried from a well. A low need does not mean that the existing wastewater system is well suited to the needs of the property.
  • The exemption does not endanger the economic and proper management of water services in the area of operation of the water utility.
  • A property to be exempted from joining the water supply network must have access to a sufficient amount of domestic water that meets the requirements.
  • A property to be exempted from joining the sewerage network must be able to discharge and treat wastewater in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act.