Last edited 29 Jan 2021


Attenuation refers to a reduction in force, effect, or value. Attenuation may be achieved by an attenuator.

The SuDS Manual published by CIRIA in 2015 defines attenuation as: ‘Reduction of peak flow rate and increased duration of a flow event.’ It defines attenuation storage as: ‘Volume in which runoff is stored when the inflow to the storage is greater than the controlled outflow.’

Culvert, screen and outfall manual, (CIRIA C786) published by CIRIA in 2019, defines attenuation as the: ‘Reduction in the peak discharge of a flood as it passes down river due to storage or constrictions.’

The term ‘attenuation’ is also used in the construction industry to refer to the reduction of the transmission of sound, typically in ductwork, doors or other elements that pass from one area to another. It can also refer to wave attenuators, pressure attenuators in ventilation piping and so on.

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