Water supply and sanitation services in Finland before World War 2
This paper describes the birth of water supply and sanitation systems in Finnish cities in connection with urbanization from the 1870s until World War II. The demand for these services was created especially by the need for fire fighting water, but also for ensuring better quality water and improved sanitation and hygiene.
After Finnish cities opted for municipal ownership and responsibility around 1880, three other technical solutions were rapidly adopted: metering-based billing, a ban on lead pipes, and the acceptance of flush toilets. One of the everlasting questions has been the choice of raw water sources from ground or surface water. Some cities introduced wastewater treatment from the 1910s, but its generalisation only really started with the 1962 Water Act that made it compulsory.