Officials in Colcord say red worms have infested the town's water supply. The drinking water in Deleware County, Oklahoma, is full of tiny red worms.
The city has issued a warning to residents. The water may be unsafe for drinking. As reported by News9, residents can get containers of clean drinking water from the "emergency management office on Highway 116" and the Colcord Fire Department.
Colcord's drinking water supply is tested twice daily for contamination. In recent tests, city employees discovered the worms.
Oklahoma's Department of Environmental Quality has identified the worms as blood worms. Water Commissioner Cody Gibby explains that Colcord's red worms are actually fly larvae.
Blood worms are the larvae of the tiny midge fly. Midges are often referred to as gnats, and can be mistaken for mosquitoes.
As reported by River Watch, the larvae vary in color. However, they are often red. The larvae are usually found in still or slow-moving water. They thrive in sediment or mud.
A sudden rise in population can indicate decreased water quality or an increase in organic substances.
Officials in Colcord say the worms are likely harmless. However, they are not willing to take any chances.
On Tuesday night, the water supply was shut down at 9 pm. City employees are in the process of scrubbing down and flushing the entire system.
As reported by Tulsa world, close to 800 residents are affected by the shutdown. All commercial businesses were closed and the Colcord School District has cancelled classes.
The city will continue to provide residents with drinking water until the water tests clean.
Residents are encouraged to conserve water until the issue is resolved. As the problem is uncommon, officials are not sure how long it will take to clear out the worms.
Colcord's red worms are not likely to cause health issues. However, residents are encouraged to contact their doctor if they have concerns.
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