Last week, a small town in northeast Oklahoma reported that red worms, a common name for midge fly larvae, was found in its water supply. City workers found no explanation as to why worms appeared in the water supply in the first place, but they diligently worked to drain and clean the water tower and are taking action to prevent this issue from arising again. Meanwhile, local residents have been asked to not use the water supply for drinking, brushing teeth or cooking.
While it’s certainly a distressing situation, we wanted to be sure to point out that the city’s water utility did a thorough job in responding to this situation by 1) discovering the problem quickly, 2) communicating the problem swiftly to local residents, 3) sharing with consumers how to handle the consequences of the problem in their household for the time being, and 4) investigating what lead up to the problem to solve it and to prevent it from happening again. This water utility can be looked upon as a good example of how to manage a situation that can negatively affect drinking water supplies.