Colcord, Okla., residents were warned earlier this week to keep away from their tap water after health and safety authorities discovered blood worms in the water supply.
The small, red insect larvae that grow to a half-inch in length have appeared in water glasses throughout the town, CNN said. The larvae can't be filtered, and residents are instead were being told to use bottled water only. That meant no cooking, drinking or brushing of teeth with the tap water, authorities said.
The warning shut down schools as officials tried to determine the source of the larvae — and how to get rid of them. And it's also left restaurants and diners scrambling.
Workers with CJ's Country Corner said to KJRH that business was slow and they couldn't serve even coffee or fountain soda.
Health impacts from the worms are undetermined. But authorities were't taking any chances and sent out teams to hand-deliver warning letters to all 800 of the town residents.
A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality said that the agency was investigating and that it has only seen one prior infestation, more than 20 years ago and 108 miles from Colcord.
The Associated Press reported that a spokesman said the city had turned the water back on Wednesday after cleaning and draining the water tower. But other media outlets are reporting that residents still are being advised to avoid the tap and keep to the bottled. Meanwhile, there's still no word on how the worms got into the water supply.
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