Students returned to school in Colcord, Okla., on Tuesday (Sept. 3) after being out since last week when blood worms were found in the town’s water supply, officials said.
Superintendent J.D. Parkerson said classes are being held on a day-to-day basis until the water issue is resolved. About 650 students attend the elementary, middle and high schools in town, he said.
Terry Wood, a Colcord Town Board member, said the 275-290 customers on the town’s water system still cannot drink the water but can use it for other purposes, such as showering. He said city officials hope the water will be approved for consumption later this week.
The superintendent said no one at the schools is allowed to drink water expect from the bottled water being handed out. People are allowed to use town’s piped-in water to wash their hands, and the schools’ restrooms are functioning, he said.
Colcord Public Schools officials canceled classes Aug. 27 after city resident were told not to drink the water. One day later, Parkerson canceled classes for the rest of the week.
Blood worms were found on a city water filter on Aug. 26, and running water in Colcord was shut off the next day after the water tower was drained.
Mayor Pat Upton said this was the first time that Colcord has experienced this infestation.
“We’ve never seen this before,” Upton told 5NEWS last week, “and consequently, it was a little bit scary at first until we were able to identify what they were.”
Blood worms, also known as red worms, are the larvae of midge flies. Officials say the blood worms do not pose a health threat, but the city is purifying the water supply to get rid of the pests.