The City of Vaasa has a stormwater management policy in its city plan area. Stormwater is rain or melt water that accumulates on ground surfaces, building roofs or other surfaces as well as drainage water. The management of stormwater also involves the prevention of flood damage and flood prevention.
Stormwater management as a whole consists of a municipal stormwater system, which includes the stormwater management structures and equipment under the responsibility of the municipality.
The municipality is responsible for flood control and the prevention of flood damage on its own properties, as well as on roads, streets, waterways and green areas. It is also the responsibility of the municipality to ensure the continuity of its own services, the maintenance of the infrastructure and the provision of rescue services in the event of and during the threat of any flooding.
The owner or tenant of a property as well as the residents must protect themselves and their possessions by all means available. They should, for their part, prevent the occurrence of any flood damage and prepare themselves for any flood prevention and protection measures required by a flood situation.
The areas affected by the stormwater system are the planned areas of Vaasa and Vähäkyrö.
Who is responsible for organising stormwater activities?
The City of Vaasa Municipal Engineering (Kuntatekniikka) is responsible for organising the stormwater management in the city plan area. The Building Control Authorities (Rakennusvalvonta) are responsible for issues regarding permits and acts as a supervisory authority.
Connecting to a stormwater system occurs when the property owner connects their property to the water and sewerage network in their neighbourhood. Read more about Vaasa Water’s (Vaasan Vesi) water supply services on the Water Services site Vesihuolto.
Determination of the stormwater fee
A fee will be determined according to the built property or the building permit granted for the property in the city plan area and the size of the site. The fee applies to all real estate located in the city plan area with a building permit.
The Technical Board has defined the stormwater impact area as of 10 June, 2015, § 64.
The fees are as follows (coming soon)
Things considering billing
Under 103 o § of the Land Use and Building Act, the recipient of an invoice has the right to lodge a complaint within 14 days of receiving an invoice through the following channels:
- City of Vaasa online service // https://asiointi.vaasa.fi/web/guest/lomake_hulevesi
- You can also send a protest by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- or you can send it to the Head of Municipal Engineering at
- City of Vaasa / Municipal Engineering / Stormwater issues
P.O. Box 2
Payment must be made within the time specified on the invoice or on the new invoice sent as a reminder, regardless of the appeal.
Any outstanding payment may be enforced against the debtor without a judgment or decision in the order provided for in the collection of taxes and duties.
Property ownership data is collected from the land register for the stormwater payment every year on 31 December. Municipal Engineering (Kuntatekniikka) handles the invoicing of payments with the assistance of Financial Services (Talouspalvelut) once a year after the previous year’s financial statements have been completed.
A stormwater system prevents flood damage
The stormwater levy is intended to cover the costs of maintaining and developing the city’s stormwater system. The stormwater system consists of pumping stations, street drainage pipes and ditches, stormwater ponds, park drainage solutions and regional stormwater solutions that together serve the city residents. The development and better maintenance of the city’s stormwater system also seeks to anticipate and minimise the effects of flooding.
The largest stormwater system development projects in 2018 were the drainage investments of Pohjolankatu street and the restoration of the ditch running alongside Singsbyntie road. In addition, a new stormwater system was built in Yttersundom, in Länsiniitty and along more than ten streets. Investments also included flood water management in Klemetinpuisto avenue, pre-construction of the Ravilaakso area stormwater system, as well as numerous other projects.
Questions and answers
What does stormwater mean?
Rain and melt water that is diverted from the ground, building roofs or other similar surfaces (Stormwater handbook, Local and Regional Government Finland (Kuntaliitto)
What is the law on stormwater fees?
Amendments to the Water Supply Act (132/1999) and Land Use and Building Act (681/2014 § 103n), which entered into force on 1 September 2014, transferred stormwater management to the MLR[PW1] , i.e. to be organised by the municipality. Other water issues will continue to be part of the water services agency’s responsibility. The Vaasa Technical Board decided on the stormwater charge on 14 October 2015, § 131.
The City will still be responsible for the stormwater costs in public areas such as parks and streets.
What does the stormwater fee cover?
The fee covers the maintenance and investment costs of the stormwater system. In 2015, for example, the City invested in stormwater management by constructing the Klemetinpuisto flood pond in Hietalahti.
We collect all the rainwater ourselves, why should we still pay the stormwater fee?
The stormwater system is citywide and also covers snow melt waters. In exceptional circumstances, such as storms, property-specific stormwater management is inadequate. The purpose of the stormwater system is to manage potential urban flooding risks throughout the city plan area, so that traffic connections, for example, can still operate during exceptional circumstances.
Do I have to pay a stormwater fee for our summer cottage, even though we are only there in the summer?
If the cottage is located outside the city plan area, it is not within the scope of the stormwater system, and therefore there is no need to pay the stormwater fee.
Does the stormwater fee also apply to an uninhabited house or a deserted house?
Yes, if the house is in the city plan area.
A neighbour’s stormwater flows into my yard, what can be done about it?
Priority must be given to agreeing with the neighbour on stormwater treatment that is mutually satisfactory. If this does not work, you can contact the Building Control Authorities (Rakennusvalvonta). Pursuant to Article 103f (1) of the Land Use and Building Act, stormwater must not run off site.
What can be done when a neighbour is washing rugs and cars in their yard and the washing water runs into our yard?
Water from washing rugs (mats/carpets etc.) and cars should be drained off. The city also has special places for washing rugs. First and foremost, try to come to an arrangement with your neighbour. If this does not work, you can contact the Building Control Authorities (Rakennusvalvonta).
When do we start paying the stormwater fee when building a detached house?
From the time that the building permit is granted.
We are selling our house in the summer, how is the payment determined?
The payment is based on the situation at the end of the previous year (31 December).
Is the fee the same for everyone, such as pensioners and war veterans?
The fee is the same for everyone.
Does the surface on the yard affect the fee?
No, it doesn’t. We want to keep the stormwater payment system as simple as possible, so that the administrative costs will not increase.
Couldn’t stormwater be collected in ponds?
Stormwater is collected in wetland ponds, for example in Gerby, Purola and Böle.
The underground rainwater cistern on our site is blocked and rainwater accumulates in the yard. Do we need to pay the stormwater fee if the cistern doesn’t work?
The stormwater fee is based on public law and thus directly enforceable. Keeping a blocked cistern / grille cover open is the responsibility of the property owner.
There are piles of snow, especially on our plot, when the streets are ploughed. In the spring, the water runs into our yard. Is this taken into consideration in the fee?
The revenue from the stormwater fee is used to maintain and develop the stormwater system. It is the job of the landowner to remove the snow in front of their land. The City is happy to receive information on deficiencies in the system, e.g. through an electronic feedback system.
We live by the sea / river, do I have to pay?
Yes, a beach plot is also covered by the stormwater system.
Can I apply for an exemption from the stormwater fee?
It is not possible to apply for an exemption from payment of the municipality’s public stormwater drainage fee, since the fee is not based on a connection to the municipality’s stormwater system but the municipality’s decision on an area that serves its stormwater system (Luukkonen, Local and Regional Government Finland, 26 June 2015). On the other hand, the decision on the stormwater fee can be appealed.
Does this stormwater fee relate to the water invoice?
No, not at all. Vaasa Water (Vaasan Vesi) charges for household and wastewater separately.
I already pay the eco fee, doesn’t that cover this as well?
The eco-fee covers waste management services.
Can I drain stormwater into a sewage drain?
Discharging stormwater into sewage drains is prohibited under Section 17d of the Water Services Act.
Data protection of the City of Vaasa
EU Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The application of the European Union Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) began on 25 May 2018. This will not require any action on the part of the data subjects, i.e. residents or customers in the City of Vaasa.
The most significant changes will be the more secure processing of the registered data and the improved rights of the data subjects.
The new data protection regulation can be found via the link below.
You will find the data protection regulation for the City of Vaasa stormwater management and its invoicing on: