Red Worms a Threat to the Nation’s Water Supply!

There’s your hype-filled headline for the day!

But it actually relates to what I’m about to share with you…

Our good friend, the one and only, “Mark from Kansas”, dropped me an e-mail yesterday to tell me about an incredible news {cough} story he came across! If he didn’t share the link to it, I just wouldn’t have believed him! And even then – I had to double-triple-quadruple-check the name of this news {cough} website just to make sure it wasn’t some sort of gag site (like “The Onion”).

It isn’t.

The story is about a town in Oklahoma, called Colcord, that has a bit of a problem. It seems their water tower has somehow become infested with “Red Worms” – and yep, they are indeed claiming these are the very same “Red Worms” used for vermicomposting.

As a result of this horrifying situation, the town has had to shut off its water supply, forcing residents to pick up jugs of clean water from its “emergency management office”.

Here is a particularly insightful blurb from the article:

Tim Ward, assistant water division director in the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, said that the red worm infestation is more common in the southeastern part of the United States.

Ward believes the infestation began at the city’s water treatment plant, which uses an open-filter system. DEQ officials told local station News On 6 that midge flies likely entered the top of the filter and worked their way down to begin the infestation.

The worms, which are related to earthworms, are a half-inch to an inch long and resemble a centipede.

“Bleach doesn’t even kill them,” Gibby said. “We don’t know what we are dealing with.”

Here is a link to the full article: Colcord Red Worms: Town’s Water Tower Crawling With Invaders


Half and inch long and looks like a centipede. Bleach doesn’t even kill them. Does that sound like the “Red Worms” we work with?

The infestation started after midge flies gained access to the open-filter systems. Hmmm…

Has it occurred to anyone that these “worms” might be midge larvae (aka chironomids or “blood worms”)?

I also can’t help but ask myself what exactly these invaders are feeding on! Last time I checked, clean water didn’t exactly offer much in the way of nutritional sustenance.
Maybe, just maybe it’s time to actually CLEAN the filter…or install something a bit more sanitary.

My advice for “NewsMax”…

You MAY want to spend a little more time on fact checking before posting stuff like this!

My advice for the residents of Colcord…

If there is ANYTHING you need to be terrified of, it’s the people who are in control of your water supply! Yikes.

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    • Anna
    • August 29, 2013

    I’ve got to admit you sucked me in with this headline, Bentley. I agree with you about fearing the people in charge of the water supply though. If redworms don’t like onions, I can’t even imagine bleach. Egads!

    • Bentley
    • August 29, 2013

    ANNA – great to see you ’round these parts again!
    Pretty scary stuff indeed. I’ve never done a test myself, but my hunch is that it wouldn’t even be very hard to kill off pesky midge larva with bleach…let alone Red Worms! lol

    • Lynn
    • August 29, 2013

    Did I read that correctly? Bleach is a no-go?
    Many years ago, when I first started keeping ornamental aquariums, I wiped out most of a tank of mollies by spraying my bathroom tile with a 3-1 bleach solution and leaving for work. The bathroom was two rooms away from the aquarium room. So, how does bleach NOT kill the so-called “worms” in this tower. Oh. Well. Probably the same way the midges got in the filter in the first place – – – – too little, too late. Egads is right!!

    • Anna
    • August 30, 2013

    It’s good to be back! I’m usually around more in the winter when I have less to do in the garden and more time to contemplate worms :).

    • John Duffy
    • August 30, 2013

    In the immortal words of Ron White,
    “ya can’t cure stupid.”
    if they want to get rid of the little buggers, just pour sand on them. Then, they can just stone each other…

  1. Someone must have stole the real bleach. Lol! I used to work in water and sewage treatment plants refurbishing them. In the sewage plant we’d see some sort of maggot that had a breathing tube for a tail. I still have nightmares! Lol! We had an employee who would drink the treated sewage water after it left the plant to show you how clean it was. And yes ladies he was single! Lol! Sounds like they need to fire whoever is treating their water. And who is in charge of identifying what critter is in their water. Lol!

    • EJ
    • September 5, 2013

    Why didn’t they just boil the water before drinking? That will work, right?

    • Kim
    • September 5, 2013

    Ick! That is just disgusting! That’s all I have to say. Oh, and I’m a newcomer to worm composting. So, hello everybody.

    • Tony
    • September 19, 2013

    it says 1/2 inch to an inch in size. Someone needs to brush up on their species. These are blood worms not wrigglers… Often sold freeze dried as fish food. I could see how the would look like a young wriggler but they only grow to 1 inch.

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