This story has been updated.

A major water main ruptured in Forestdale around 7 a.m. on Friday. It is being valved off and will remain off for repair.

Large parts of northern Jefferson County are impacted, including Forestdale, Adamsville, Fultondale, Gardendale and surrounding areas. Any jurisdiction serviced by the Birmingham Water Works Board Western Filter Plant will be impacted.

The biggest impact and concern is water pressure for fire hydrants.

The Emergency Management Agency of Jefferson County issued the following advisory:

Fire personnel: You may not be able to rely on proper water pressure from your hydrants if fighting fires until this is resolved if you are in this area.

A 24-inch main was compromised along Highway 78 in Forestdale. Crews are working to valve it off as of 07:15 Friday morning so they can make repairs.  There is no timeframe for the repairs to be completed.

Workers are also attempting to utilize a smaller 16-inch pipe to get some pressure into the system in that area, however they said it will likely not be sufficient for structural firefighting.

Gardendale Mayor Stan Hogland said that no reports have been received of water pressure problems in homes or businesses as of Friday morning, but that it is still early.

No information is available on the cause of the pipe rupture.

The ruptured pipe transports water from the Western Filter Plant of the Birmingham Water Works. It takes water from the Sipsey and Mulberry Forks of the Warrior River, located north of Birmingham.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m.:

After a major water main broke Friday morning, the Birmingham Water Works added a water alert.

The Water Works ordered mandatory boiling of water for three minutes in these areas of Jefferson County:

  • Forestdale

  • Sandusky

  • Pratt City

  • Lewisburg

  • Upper Coalburg

  • Coalburg

  • Mineral Springs

  • Pinkney City

  • Hayes

  • Highland

  • Greenleas Heights

  • Smithfield Estates

  • Zion Heights

  • Westwood

  • Union Grove

  • Hillview

  • Adamsville

  • Fultondale

  • Highway 78

  • Cherry Avenue

  • Tomahawk Drive

The boil water alert was also issued for streets adjacent to:

  • Pratt Highway

  • Dugan Highway

  • Hibernian Street

  • Coalburg Road

  • Upper Coalburg Road

  • Heflin Avenue

  • Walker Chapel Road

  • Brookside Coalburg Road

Those unable to boil water are directed to use bottled water.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at

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