Authorities warn Colcord, Oklahoma residents not to drink tap water due to blood worm infestation

August 29, 2013OKLAHOMAThe people of Colcord, Oklahoma, might need something a little stronger than Brita filters to remove the impurities from their drinking water. Blood worms — small, red insect larvae — have been appearing in water glasses and filters in the rural town. Authorities have warned Colcord’s 800 residents not to drink, cook with or brush their teeth with the worm-infested tap water. Schools in the area have been closed since Tuesday as officials try to figure out where the bright-red creatures came from and how long it will take to get rid of them. There are no known health effects from the worms, which range from about a quarter to a half inch in length. But local officials aren’t taking any chances, hand-delivering letters to residents warning them to stick to bottled water for the time being. The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is investigating the cause of the outbreak but isn’t yet able to say when the water will be safe to drink again, said spokeswoman Erin Hatfield. Blood worms, also known as red worms, are found in the southeastern United States, but not usually in Oklahoma. The environmental quality department has only recorded one other such infestation in the state, Hatfield said: in the town of Drumright, 108 miles away, more than 20 years ago. For the people of Colcord, about 75 miles east of Tulsa, the blood worm invasion that was first detected Monday can’t end soon enough. Staff at CJ’s Country Corner, a local gas station and convenience store, told CNN affiliate KJRH that business was much slower than usual, largely because of the school closure. They’re also unable to serve coffee or sodas from the fountain, they said. Colcord’s water commissioner, Cody Gibby, is scratching his head over how the worms, the larvae of midges, got through the town’s water-filtering defenses. “It’s not just a little 6-inch filter, it’s 6 foot of coal and sand mixed together that not even a hair can get through,” he told KJRH. “And these worms are getting through it and getting into our distribution water.” And his verdict of the presence of the little red invaders in the tap water? “Disgusting.” –CNN
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9 Responses to Authorities warn Colcord, Oklahoma residents not to drink tap water due to blood worm infestation

  1. SOSO says:

    This is bs. My dog Mars had seizures and almost died from these when a little pup. He had to have a blood transfusion to save his life. The VET called them blood worms. His liter didn’t make it but he did and now has skin problems, but a good life.

  2. tellthetruth1 says:

    Oh YIKES, :(

  3. eebus says:

    If nothing can get through the 6 feet of coal and sand maybe they are spawning inside the treatment center itself.

  4. niebo says:

    This reminds me of the “floating island of volcanic rocks” that showed up in the Pacific awhile back; I can hear John’s discourse with the Angel: “Water to blood is no problem, but worms in the water? That’s too disgusting to print, for one, and about as likely as floating rocks!” . . . “And what’s a water treatment facility, anyway?”

  5. Faye Brown says:

    I thought this an interesting additive to your informative article, and to anyone in that infected area;
    “The worms breathe through their moist skin and would suffocate and die in dry conditions. Earthworms have five hearts, although they are not four-chambered hearts like humans. Instead, they are five pairs of enlarged blood vessels with valves that prevent the blood from backing up“.

    “According to the World Health Organization, schistosomes, or blood worms, kill as many as a million people annually. Because these flukes are endemic to tropical areas, people living in more temperate climates are unaware of the danger these parasites pose.
    Primary Host: The schistosoma reproduces in the human body. Production of 200 to 2,000 eggs per day damages blood vessels
    Transmission: Blood vessels break and eggs are discharged into the intestine or urinary track. Infected feces or urine, not properly treated, ends up in water sources.
    Intermediate Host: The egg produces the larval form of the parasite. It seeks freshwater snails as an intermediate host and divides into thousands, which are expelled into the water.
    Contact: Humans swimming or working in infected water contact a schistosoma, which bores into an artery and travels to the intestine or bladder to reside.
    Symptoms and Treatment: Early symptoms include abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you suspect exposure and manifest these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.”

  6. Colleen says:

    More examples of dispersed pestilences in the last days. The video of the red worm water infestation is disgusting!

  7. Sǫhahiyǫh says:

    maybe they’re not coming through the filters at all , but through post filter water pipes
    where lines are rusted or cracked.

  8. Robert C. Laity says:

    If the filters are such that “Not even a hair can get through” then it may be that the water is being deliberately contaminated.

  9. Dan says:

    I was always taught that worm could be eaten as survival food..if I am not mistake red worms earth worm grubs and so on will not harm you.. I am not all that excited about having them in my water. I would like to know why they all of a sudden showed up… I bet that damn George Bush bad somthing to do this….

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