Adaptive flow means the pumps within the inlet facility can be operated at variable rates. During dry weather, the amount of water pumped from Lady Bird Lake north through the tunnel and discharged to Waller Creek at the inlet can be controlled by Watershed Protection. The flow can be varied as needed based on the weather (rain and temperature) to recirculate water through the tunnel to maintain adequate levels of dissolved oxygen and to prevent noxious odors from escaping the tunnel. Dissolved oxygen in water is important to support diverse aquatic life in the creek.
When the creek floods during storms, the pumps can be turned off, so water flows by gravity south through the tunnel into Lady Bird Lake.