Various sectors of the city participate in water conservation, for example, through monitoring water condition, land use planning and the development of water management. Compliance with the Water Act and the Act on Water Services, is monitored in order to ensure safety, well-being and recreational opportunities of the environment and city residents. A management plan has been created to ensure conservation of surface and groundwater environments in the city.

General information on Espoo’s waterbodies is available on the Aquatic nature page.

Monitoring the state of waterbodies

The city actively monitors the state of surface waters. The annual monitoring includes 11 lakes, four rivers and seven streams. In addition, further information on the condition of surface water is received from obligatory control carried out by operators who add to the area’s environmental load. This monitoring is carried out, for example, regarding the impacts of Ämmässuo-Kulmakorpi waste treatment and industrial operations and in the marine area on the effects of Suomenoja and Viikinmäki wastewater treatment plants.

In addition to surface waters, there are 11 groundwater areas in Espoo that are vital for water supply. The City of Espoo’s Geotechnical Engineering Unit monitors the groundwater level with some 800 observation pipes in the Espoo area. 

Surface and groundwater monitoring provides data, among other things, on the water’s eutrophication, oxygen level and concentrations of harmful substances. The data is used, for example, for land use control and water restoration planning.

Monitoring sites visited in 2021. Most sites are visited annually, which provides us with valuable long-term monitoring data and changes in the environment can be tracked. Map created by Marika Rönnberg.

Restoration of waterbodies

The City of Espoo cooperates with numerous parties to improve the state of its lakes and flowing waters. In Espoo, water protection is controlled by the water conservation action plan.  The goal of the action plan is to ensure that the ecological state of Espoo waterbodies is at least good. 

The City of Espoo acts the project leader in restorations. Furthermore, the city also supports organisations and residents by offering them small annual grants and acting as an expert in projects.

For example, lake restorations can bring an eutrophic lake closer to its original state. One measure that is often crucial in lake renovations is the minimisation of external load, i.e. reducing the amount of nutrient load entering the lake through its catchment area. The internal load of the lake can be reduced, for example, through management fishing. Recreational use can be promoted by trimming aquatic plants or dredging fairways for boating.

What can you do to improve the state of aquatic wildlife?

Through our personal choices and actions, we can all make a difference in the welfare of the underwater environment. Read more about wastewater treatment, runoff water and water protection associations, among others.

Establishing a private conservation area

Do you own water areas in Espoo? Find out how you can set up a conservation area, for example, by contacting the Baltic Sea Action Group(external link).

Grants for water restoration projects 

The Espoo Environment Department annually distributes small grants for water restoration projects. The projects must be in line with Espoo’s water conservation action plan. Further instructions and application periods are available here. (Only available in Finnish. Contact the Environment and Building Control Department for information in English.)

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