Those familiar with the land use planning process will no doubt understand the rationale behind Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS). Water management in the urban environment is crucial in helping to alleviate episodic flooding. Hard surfacing that's efficient in rushing water off to the existing drainage system often ends up being someone elses problem further down the river catchment. To moderate this SUDS are often designed and incorporated into new developments as a way of ensuring water is regulated.
A key feature of SUDS is a balancing pond. In modern systems such a feature is often simply a depression in the ground that takes excess water and releases it in a measured and controlled manner. But its seems that balancing ponds are not just a part of a modern water management system The peri-urban industrial landscape around the south Wales coalfield has many 'balance ponds'. The pond pictured above is situated above Pwll Ddu quarry and in recent times at least, has been devoid of water. But this changed within the last week when heavy rain temporarily filled the pond.