Environmental Control – Frequently Asked Questions
You will find frequently asked questions and answers regarding environmental control on this page. If you cannot find an answer to your question, you may contact the Environmental Protection service phone number. You will find the contact information at the bottom of the page.
If your issue concerns a detected environmental hazard, such as littering, noise hazard or bad air quality, please contact us via the feedback service primarily. You may indicate the location of the hazard on a map in the feedback service, which speeds up and eases the processing. You may use the feedback service anonymously.
Frequently Asked Questions
My neighbor’s dog barks constantly. What can I do?
You should primarily discuss the matter with the dog’s owner. You may ask if the owner is aware of the dog’s barking when the owner is not present, for example. If the dog is an outdoor dog, ask if the dog can be located to a different part of the plot or if the dog can come inside during set times.
In apartment buildings, row houses or semi-detached houses, please contact the property manager or other housing company representative because disruptive barking usually breaks the housing company’s guidelines, and the company is obligated to intervene. On the basis of animal protection, barking, howling etc. are considered normal behavior when the pet’s alone time is reasonable.
If the dog’s barking is significantly disruptive during evenings and nights, you may contact the police based on noise disturbance. If the dog is being mistreated, the issue might arise due to animal cruelty. Please contact the on-call vet immediately (the link in Finnish).
Disruptive noise reaches my apartment. What can I do?
Different noises can reach your apartment from, for example, machinery, equipment, traffic or the neighbor. First, try to figure out where the noise originates from. If you manage to find the noise’s source, discuss the matter with the people causing the noise.
More information on matters regarding indoor noise from Environmental health care.
You may contact the people responsible regarding traffic noise. The Ely-centre of Northern Ostrobothnia is responsible for the noise prevention of most busy roads, such as highway 4. You may contact the Ely-centre's customer service in matters regarding traffic noise. You may use the city of Oulu feedback service for reporting matters concerning the streets and roads of the city of Oulu.
My neighbor is being noisy. What can I do?
If disruptive noise is coming from your neighbor’s home, you should primarily discuss the matter with your neighbor. Exceptional noise caused by the users of premises, such as breaches of peace, should be solved according to the property’s rules and regulations. The police should handle them if needed.
If the disturbance caused by your neighbor is repetitive and takes place in a housing company’s building and it does not end despite appeals and police intervention, please contact your property manager.
There are rats on my property. What can I do?
The property owner is responsible for pest control. Keep your property clean and make sure that pests cannot find food from there. Make sure that all waste bins and compost bins are properly sealed. Also, ensure that all pet food is not accessible to pests. Additionally, you should clean all possible bird feeders. Read more about pest control (in Finnish).
Discuss the matter with your neighbors, they should check their own properties as well. Pest control should be handled together with neighbors.
Contact a pest control company if needed.
I saw rats in a park. What can I do?
Oulun Infra public utility handles pest control in the city of Oulu’s parks and public areas when necessary. Announce the sighting in the online feedback service. Choose “Asuminen, ympäristö ja kadut” and then choose “Parks and green areas”.
If you notice problems in the parks and public areas of other municipalities, please contact the supervision of that municipality.
I saw waste by a forest road. What can I do?
You may announce the sighting to the Environmental Protection via the online feedback service: announce littering. You may attach the location of the sighting on the map and pictures in the feedback. This information eases and speeds up the processing.
Can I wash my car in my own yard?
You may occasionally wash your car in, for example, your house’s yard when the washing water can be absorbed into the earth. The washing water must not be led into the drainage water gutter, and you are not permitted to use solvent detergents. If the housing property, such as row houses or apartment building, includes over 10 apartments, a separate washing area must be reserved for car washing. It is not permitted to wash cars on street and road areas or on any other public area, such as beaches.
May I use a leaf blower to remove gritting?
The use of leaf blowers for removing gritting is permitted. The gritting removal must not cause dusting. For example, the cleaned area should be soaked before gritting removal to prevent dusting.
There are Himalayan balsam plants in my yard. What can I do?
The removal of invasive species is the property owner’s responsibility. Start the prevention of Himalayan balsam by uprooting or mowing them in May-June before they bloom. Continue preventive action at least twice during its growing season to prevent the seed bank from forming.
If you notice invasive species in the city’s parks or greenspaces, you may announce the sighting in the online feedback service: announce invasive species.
There is an oil film on top of the water. What can I do?
A film on top of water that looks like oil is not always oil. Iron and manganese naturally dissolve into waters from earth and bedrock. When the water reaches oxygenous conditions overground, these metals become oxygenated and form an oil-like film with iron compound-consuming bacteria. The films can occur in rocky beaches and ditches.
You can try to mix the film with a stick for example. If the film maintains its greasy film-like form and does not split or break, it could be caused by a pollutant causing environmental hazard. In such case, please contact the Environment Office of the Oulu Region immediately, or in an acute situation, call the emergency number 112.