Southern Finland Drainage Case Area including Gammelbacka Stream, Raasepori River and Loviisanjoki River.

The Gammelbacka stream, also called Storängsbäcken, flows from the forests of Kuninkaanportti and Ernestas through Eestinmäki and Karjalaiskylä fields through the built-up urban area and park area of Gammelbacka to the issue of river Porvoonjoki. The length of the stream is about seven kilometers. Salmo trutta have been restocked in Gammelbacka stream in the urban area and park area. This part of the stream was restored in 2014.

Storängsbäcken has its own Drainage corporate body. Drainage corporate bodies are organizations that consist of those land owners that gets benefit or profit of the drainage. Drainage corporate bodies have been established in Finland since 1883 for maintaining the ditches. Storängsbäckens Drainage corporate body was established in 1932. First drainage plans have been made in 1916.
The most of drainage corporate bodies are not active and maintenance of the ditches has been delayed. Many cases drainage corporate body has not been active in 50 years. Farmers are trying to excavate small shots of the ditch in their own lands with locally-based contractors and the results are largely qualitatively weak.
The drainage main channel of Storängsbäcken is a typical case, not renovated during decades. The problems consist of small difference of field surfaces and channel water level. By drainage planning norms this difference should be at least 80 cm. This problem was caused by erosion which resulted silt and mud accumulation to the channel and also depression of the soil. Humidity and floods have during the years compressed and weakened soil structure and farming capacity, and also increased depression.

Conclusions and findings

Large-scale holistic water management and maintenance requires a clear division of roles for different stakeholders. Planning has been re-allocated from authorities to private service providers and advisory services. Juridical review remains with state authorities and regional administration are taking over the financial subsidizing. There is a need of a clear “command chain” from the catchment area to the larger water bodies. The links of this chain would be drainage cooperatives, authorities, fishery regions, land owner cooperatives, foundations, associations, planners, contractors, scientists, advisers, farmers and land owners. Catchment officer could offer important coordination between all of these stakeholders.

Responsibility of actions should not remain with separate actor of the chain, but we need a collaborative approach. Everyone should have a clear responsability, which leads the activities towards operational basic and local drainage including surface water management.

A systematic, phased implementation on a catchment-scale is more likely to secure better results concerning both sufficient drainage on agricultural lands as well as decreased nutrient load. In order to decrease the renovation debt, a more systematic and planned approach should be strived for in contrast to the current unsystematic and random operating model/activities.

Information about holistic water management should primarily be targeted to farmers, landowners and drainage corporate bodies in the risk areas. The regional authority (in Finland ELY-centre) would be a natural actor to coordinate the targeting of funds to the most critical areas. A regional coordinator could be funded by state subsidies either through a project or a new form of support or service.


Costs of holistic main channel renovation in Gammelbacka Stream Euro
Preliminary work – Marking measurements 3,788
Excavations 2,5815
Spreading of excavated sediment 3,1315
Two stage ditches (excavations and spreading of excavated sediment) 9,456
Drum installations 5,000
Drum materials 9,550
Repair of broken discharges 2,400
Landscaping and unforeseen costs 800
Overheads (planning, supervision and management) 8,091
Total cost 65,400

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