Tiny Okla. town tries to rid water supply of worms

In this frame grab provided by KWTV is one of many tiny red worms that workers in Colcord, Okla., found in a filtering system for the town's drinking water. Residents were asked to not drink tap water after the worms  _ ranging from a half-inch to an inch long _ showed up earlier this week. A spokesman said city water was turned back on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, after workers cleaned, drained and re-cleaned the town's  water tower. (AP Photo/Courtesy KWTV)

In this frame grab provided by KWTV is one of many tiny red worms that workers in Colcord, Okla., found in a filtering system for the town's drinking water. Residents were asked to not drink tap water after the worms _ ranging from a half-inch to an inch long _ showed up earlier this week. A spokesman said city water was turned back on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, after workers cleaned, drained and re-cleaned the town's water tower. (AP Photo/Courtesy KWTV)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Beating the late-summer heat isn't as easy as running to the sink in one northeast Oklahoma town, as residents there are being asked not to drink tap water after red worms were found in the filtering system.

The worms — ranging from a half-inch to an inch long — showed up earlier this week in the drinking water supply in Colcord, a small town about 80 miles east of Tulsa.

City councilman Terry Wood said city water was turned back on Wednesday morning after workers cleaned, drained and re-cleaned the water tower. No worms were found in the tower, he said.

"We are still looking into this problem. I mean we need to get to the bottom of it and we will continue to investigate and do pretty much what we need to do to find out what happened here," Wood said.

Residents are being asked not to consume the water or use it to brush teeth or prepare food, Wood said, but it can be used for showers and other activities.

Erin Hatfield, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, said it's uncommon for red worms to show up in a water system in the state, though it's fairly common in the southeastern United States.

She's not sure why or how the worms wriggle into water systems.

There are no adverse health effects with the red worms, she said, and the DEQ provided Colcord officials with recommendations for their water system to prevent future red worm infestations.

Several businesses and organizations, like Walmart and the Cherokee Nation, have donated bottled water for residents in the 815-person town to use, Wood said.

"We've had situations before where we've been out of water," he said. "We've just had to use bottle water for consumption, so I don't guess it's been comfortable for some people but the last few hours haven't been that bad."

Colcord Public Schools canceled classes Wednesday, but Superintendent J.D. Parkerson said teachers and students are eager to return to classes Thursday, though no official decision has been made.

Health officials have provided guidelines to school administrators to make sure the schools are safe for the approximately 650 students.

___

Follow Kristi Eaton on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kristieaton .
Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 221621791