Colcord Red Worms: Town Residents Waiting for Larvae to Get Flushed Out of Their Drinking Water


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A small town near Tulsa, Oklahoma has been brought to its knees by tiny red worms. Colcord residents can’t drink their tap water and the public school system cancelled classes for at least two days.

The origin of these worms is a mystery to city officials and tests are being made by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to hopefully determine an origin and put a prevention plan in place.

These inch long worms are a sub-species of earthworm and can’t be killed by bleach. The town will need to just wait until the worms are flushed out of the water towers and water lines.

The water will be turned back on after the water tower is scrubbed and the red worms are completely gone.

In the meantime, Colcord residents have been advised to use bottled water for drinking, cooking and showering.

According to Cody Gibby, the Water Commissioner, the DEQ determined that these worms are blood worms, the larval stage of the non-biting midge fly also known as a chironomid.

Colcord Red Worms

[Image: Magnified Chironomidae larva - Image Source: Wikimedia]

The adult fly form of these red larvae is very common during the summer months, especially near aquatic environments. Typically though, these flies have not been common in Oklahoma.

Although the thought of larvae in the drinking water may make some residents’ skin crawl, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality that these red worms do not cause any known health effects.

For now, Colcord residents need to remain calm, grab some bottled water and wait until the water supply is worm free.

[Main Image Source: KOCOTV]

[Video Source: KOCO TV]