Mayor Maddox declares water conservation emergency in Tuscaloosa 

Zach Johnson | @ZachJohnsonCW, News Editor

UPDATE Wednesday, June 23. Mayor Walt Maddox’s water conservation order expired at noon on Wednesday, June 23.

“Thanks to the diligent work of our crew members to repair the waterline damage caused by Tropical Storm Claudette, we are able to lift the conservation order even sooner than expected,” Maddox said. “We thank the water customers in the affected area for their cooperation over the last few days.”

UPDATE Monday, June 21 at 1:30 p.m. Workers located the source of the leak at the Ed Love Water Treatment Plant on Monday. A temporary fix has been applied, and permanent repairs are underway. Maddox’s water conservation order remains in place until repairs are complete. 

Following Saturday’s flooding, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox declared a water conservation emergency on Sunday in response to a lack of pumping pressure at the Ed Love Water Treatment Plant. 

Maddox’s executive order bans excessive use of water. This includes using irrigation systems and washing cars, sidewalks, and other paved surfaces. Commercial car washes are not subject to Maddox’s ruling. The order also prohibits residents from filling pools, ponds, fountains and other bodies of water. 

The city is unable to find and repair the expected water leak because of high water levels. The city doesn’t know when the leak will be repaired.

The water shortage may last a few hours or multiple days depending on how quickly the water leak is located and repaired.

Maddox’s executive order affects areas south of the Black Warrior River. Areas north of the river receive their water from a different supplier.

Residents will not notice an immediate drop in water pressure, but Maddox said this could occur if the leak persists. 

Maddox said the current pumping capacity — about 22 million gallons per day — is sufficient for Sunday’s demand. If the water shortage continues for multiple days, a strain may be placed on pumping facilities. 

“My goal is hopefully by Tuesday we’ve found the leak and can go to the City Council with some recommendations,” Maddox said. 

Maddox said that he has been in contact with Governor Kay Ivey and the University about the emergency. 

Saturday’s storms resulted in more than seven inches of rain, and more than four inches fell within two hours.