Wigglers in the Water

Residents of a small Texas town woke up to discover that water coming out of their taps was contaminated by tiny red worms.  Red for one is totally grossed out.   The Houston Chronicle has more.

 No one seems to know how worms got in the tap water, but residents in Old River-Winfree, a town of about 1,400 people 25 miles east of Houston, are drinking from bottles this week.

On Monday evening, the first residents of the Woodlands Acres Subdivision showed up at city offices with containers full of water and small red worms they say came out of their faucets, sprinklers and shower heads. Three days and dozens of reports later, Mayor Joe Landry said, “people are not taking chances.”

Landry’s office has been using city money to buy bottled water to hand out to residents. When he spoke by phone with the Houston Chronicle, he had just returned from the nearby Dollar General to restock the water supply. City officials have handed out at least a thousand bottles, he said.

He also opened three men’s and three women’s shower facilities in the city office for any resident to use.

Landry said representatives of J&S Water, the town’s private water utility, have told him that the company had an electrical problem and its chlorinator stopped working. J&S did not respond to inquiries from the Chronicle.

“We’re hoping for an update as to where we need to go with the situation from here,” he said. “We’re hoping for directives. Right now we don’t have any answers.”

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality officials planned to visit the town to test water safety and try to identify a solution.

“We’ll be working with the city to identify where the breach occurred and how to fix the breach and flush the system,” agency spokeswoman Andrea Morrow said.

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