|Balancing pond at Catterick full of water|
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A balancing pond (also known as a balancing lakes, attenuation or retention ponds) is an artificial basin into which water drains from, for example a road or housing project, constructed to hold water to ensure that local watercourses are not overloaded during heavy rainfall collected by paved surfaces and drained off down specific channels.
A pond may be constructed as a single pond, or may be a linked series of ponds. The pond may also be dry during the majority of the year, or may also normally contain water (particularly in areas of high rainfall)
Most newer road schemes will have retaining ponds. In some cases, these are also numbered and signs visible from the road tell you the number of each pond. A good example of this is the A30 over Goss Moor, which has several.
Balancing ponds, depending on design, may have the secondary purposes of
- filtering water before it is returned to the natural watercourses
- providing a habitat for wildlife
- providing amenity or agricultural land (in areas which flood rarely)