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Responsible for the service ELY Centre

Notification of constructing under a water system

  • Permit or other obligation
  • Nationwide except the Åland Islands
  • Public service

Submit a notification of the installation of a water, sewer or power line, telecommunications cable or other comparable cable under a mainstream (such as rivers, narrow waterways and straits) or stream. Under the Water Act, the person responsible for the project has the right to place the aforementioned line/cable in another person’s water area, if its placement does not require a permit under chapter 3, section 2 of the act, the placement is not ordered under the Environmental Protection Act, or it does not cause any greater harm to the owner of the area. After receiving the notification, the ELY Centre either instructs the notifier to apply for a permit under the Water Act on the basis of the possible harmful impacts, or issues conditions for the implementation of the project. The notification procedure ensures that the notifier receives the necessary information on the permit requirement for undercutting and guidance on how to carry out the measures as easily as possible.

A cable that is immersed in a water body for the purpose of heat collection is not comparable to the above-mentioned. Drilling a heat well or installing a heat collection pipeline requires an operating permit pursuant to the decree on land use and construction. A beach owner who places heat collection pipes in the water system must have the consent of the owner of the water area before placing the structure.

Going under a public stream is always on the list of water management projects subject to a permit. You also need a permit to place lines/cables on passage or floating channels.

Do the following

Plan and implement the measures in a manner that avoids any damage to the environment and landowners in the area. The notifier is responsible for the accuracy of the information reported to the authority. To avoid problems, discuss and agree on the project with the landowners in the area and contact the customer service of environmental matters if necessary.

You can find more information on the matters to be taken into account and how to submit a notification on the environmental administration’s website.

To whom and on what terms

Before filling in the notification form, prepare a sectional drawing of the area where the line/cable undercuts, or find out how deep the water is in the spot in question and how deep the line/cable should be installed in relation to the bottom of the water system. Additionally, find out the property identifiers of the water area and the places where the ground line/cable surfaces, as well as the method of implementation (such as excavation or drilling) and the implementation schedule. Also make a map of the area.

Depending on the line/cable to be installed and the implementation method, find out the areas of reproduction of fish, the quality of the bottom, groundwater conditions, nature conservation areas and protected sites in the area that are influenced by the project, to the extent necessary. If the part going under the water system is located in a Natura 2000 site, assess the impacts on the natural values of the Natura site based on your expertise. When placing the line/cable under a stream, present your own assessment of the natural state of the stream in the project area. You can find possible sources for where to retrieve information on the notification form.

The service is free of charge.


The notification must be submitted to the regional ELY Centre and the owner of the water area at least 60 days before the start of the installation.

Processing time

The notification will be processed within 60 days.

Period of validity

The authority will provide detailed instructions about work that requires a permit and about the validity of the notification.

Basic information

The service is provided byCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Other responsible organisationsELY Centre for Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for South Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Southeast Finland, ELY Centre for North Karelia, ELY Centre for Central Finland, ELY Centre for Pirkanmaa, ELY Centre for Uusimaa, ELY Centre for North Savo, ELY Centre for South Savo, ELY Centre for Varsinais-Suomi, ELY Centre for Kainuu, ELY Centre for North Ostrobothnia, ELY Centre for Lapland, ELY Centre for Häme, ELY Centre for Satakunta
Responsible for the serviceCentre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment
Area Whole Finland (except Åland)
Available languagesFinnish, Swedish
Text edited by: ELY Centre
Updated: 16/2/2022