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What Are Balancing Ponds and Why Do They Exist?

25th January 2022

What Are Balancing Ponds and Why Do They Exist?

Balancing ponds, also known as attenuation ponds, are a form of sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) commonly found around new construction projects, such as residential and commercial property developments, new roadways, etc. But what are the primary functions of a balancing pond, and how do you maintain one?

What are Balancing Ponds?

Balancing ponds collect surface water and slowly release it into the drainage system or surrounding ground. During heavy or prolonged wet weather, the drainage system on new construction projects can become overwhelmed due to the sheer amount of excess water being discharged. Balancing ponds are designed to control the amount of excess water entering the drainage system to prevent it from becoming overwhelmed and reduce the likelihood of flooding; they act as a buffer if you like.

Balancing ponds or attenuation ponds are a vital flood prevention method. As such, they should be cleaned and maintained regularly to ensure they remain in optimal condition. If debris or silt is allowed to build within a balancing pond, the overall water capacity it can hold will diminish. If this happens, there’s an ever-increasing risk of flooding as the excess water will overflow and be unable to drain away correctly. During extreme weather conditions, this can cause the balancing pond to fail.

How Do You Maintain Your Balancing Pond? 

Balancing ponds require routine maintenance visits throughout the year to remove any debris, silt, or excessive plant growth from the pond. In addition, they need an annual or bi-annual inspection to check for any wear and tear and ensure they are working to the best of their ability.

During a scheduled balancing pond maintenance visit, a drainage engineer will attend your site and assess the work that needs to be carried out.


If the balancing pond has become overpopulated with debris and silt, high-pressure drain jets will be used to break down hardened silt and debris.  Manual or vacuum excavators can then be used to lift and transport it to the nearest drainage access point.

Emptying and Refilling

During routine maintenance, the balancing pond will need to be emptied to be cleaned. Once the maintenance work has been completed, the attenuation pond can be refilled by natural means during rainfall.

How Often Is Balancing Pond Maintenance Required?

Determining how often attenuation ponds need to be maintained is all dependent on the size and shape of the pond itself. However, as a general rule, it’s recommended that your balancing pond be checked and maintained on an annual or bi-annual basis.

Contact a Balancing Pond Desilting Specialist 

We can help you avoid unwanted flooding in your home and business through our balancing pond desilting services. Our tankers allow us to remove silt from numerous different places, including areas such as lakes and lagoons.

We have local drainage experts nationwide who are available 24/7, 365 days a year. They are dedicated to delivering fast, efficient, and trustworthy drainage solutions whenever you need them. To discuss our balancing pond desilting and maintenance services, contact your local depot or call us on 0800 66 88 00.

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We are always happy to arrange a free site assessment and no obligation quotations for any work you might need. Alternatively, you can call our emergency hotline number on 0800 66 88 00

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