Residents of the Woodland Acres Subdivision started filtering in to Old River-Winfree city offices on Monday evening, clutching containers of water filled with tiny red worms (shown in the video here)—worms they say came out of their faucets, sprinklers, and showers, the Houston Chronicle reports. And although the mayor of the Houston suburb has been handing out free bottled water and opened up shower facilities in the city's offices, people want to know where the worms are coming from and when they're going to go away. "There's these red ones, there's these black ones, almost look like tadpoles," a resident told a KHOU reporter. Another resident who found worms said, "That's worms! That is so worms! That's just gross. Oh my God, I'm freaking out right now."
The town's private water utility, J&S Water, said it had a power outage and some equipment broke, and Mayor Joe Landry tells the Chronicle he heard it was a chlorinator that went on the fritz. The water company also said it flushed the system and instructed people to start boiling water earlier this week, but it insists it has tested the water several times since with the state and that the problem may be taking placein residents' pipes. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was scheduled to head out to the city on Thursday to do its own assessment, with a spokeswoman explaining incidents like this usually happen from backflow into pipes or from storage tank breaches, the Chronicle notes. (In other creepy worm news, this one has invaded Florida.)