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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)

  • File - In this Aug. 3, 2009, file photograph is Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Maj. Nidal Hasan, sentenced to death Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others, will join five inmates who are on military death row at Leavenworth _ none of whom are close to an execution date. The military courts system has not executed an active-duty soldier since 1961. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

    File - In this Aug. 3, 2009, file photograph is Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Maj. Nidal Hasan, sentenced to death Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others, will join five inmates who are on military death row at Leavenworth _ none of whom are close to an execution date. The military courts system has not executed an active-duty soldier since 1961. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

  • 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)
  • File - In this Aug. 3, 2009, file photograph is Fort Leavenworth, a military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Maj. Nidal Hasan, sentenced to death Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others, will join five inmates who are on military death row at Leavenworth _ none of whom are close to an execution date. The military courts system has not executed an active-duty soldier since 1961. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

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, Okla.

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

Residents were 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.

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