THE USE OF WOODEN PIPES IN RURAL WATER SUPPLY IN FINLAND
The paper describes the use of wooden pipes, particularly drilled pine logs, as rural water conduits in Finland. The first documented case of such a system serving a single house is from Ilmajoki, Ostrobothnia from 1865. Later on, the system was expanded and the first joint system was completed in 1872. The latter scheme was constructed four years earlier than the first urban piped water system in Helsinki in 1876. The wooden pine logs 2 to 4 inches in diameter were drilled manually: the logs were six metres long and they were drilled from both ends.
In 1933 machine drilling was introduced. Wooden pipes were commonly used till the late 1950s and early1960s while plastic pipes acquired a dominant position. The maximum pressure drilled pine logs could take was 20 metres, the schemes were mostly gravity-based and the water came from a natural spring, these systems were very typical especially in Ostrobothnia in the western part of the country. The terrain is very flat there and the settlements are located along the riverbanks. The water systems were, and many still are, managed through consumer-owned water cooperatives, the management tradition applied also to other industries.