Saturday, October 10, 2009

Metro water in Chennai - breeding red worms

Are you living in Chennai? Do you see Red Worms in drinking water? You aren't alone. Here is my side of the story.

My wife have been complaining about worms in the Metro water, for a while. I was ignoring her claims initially. But, when I looked at our overhead tank, it was full of worms. A single mug of water had nearly 10 - 15 worms. They were small, thin and in red color - glittering in the sun light. We had cleaned our water tank only a month back - paying someone Rs.400. I was surprised to see, so many worms in the tank. I decided to clean the water tank, myself. I spent nearly 2 hours cleaning the tank, with proper chemicals. In the next 2 days, we again saw worms in the water.

All along, I have been thinking that Metro Water would be of good quality. So, I didn't suspect that the Metro Water would have worms. Coincidentally, I saw a news article in "Thinathanthi" paper which talked about "Red Worms in Metro Water". The article said that the Metro Water authorities know about this issue and it is due to 'low chlorine levels in the drinking water'. The article also said that these "Worms are harmless" & if we just filter/heat the water it can be used for drinking and cooking purposes. I started doing some research on the Internet. I saw several outdated (3 years ago) articles that talked about worms in Metro Water. I didn't see any recent news articles. However, there were some user forums where people complained about "Red Worms in drinking water".

I thought this issue is 'confined' to very few areas in Chennai. But, in the recent days, I see many areas affected these Red Worms. There is also a speculation that drinking water is getting mixed with sewage due to leaks. However, Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) authorities have been denying the existence of these worms.

Worms crawl out of taps in Saligramam - Chennai

Water with worms in Anna Nagar west 

Metro water is supposed to be used only for drinking/cooking purposes. But people store the water in sumps and start to use it for everything except for drinking (Yes! Many folks buy bottled/can water for drinking. Several other folks have costly water filtering systems in place). I'm not surprised why Metro Water authorities aren't taking a quick action. But, the folks who get affected the most are the poor folks who cannot afford to buy bottled/can water or costly water filters. If you are affected with the red worms, you should file a complaint now. You can do it online at Metro Water website. Hope Metro Water authorities solve this problem once for all - if not for the folks who 'misuse' the drinking water, but for the folks who really use the Metro Water for drinking/cooking only.

Note:  Metro Water website gives a lot of tips regarding the usage of water and maintenance of tanks/sumps. The wesbite also has lots of other useful information such as rainwater harvesting, online complaints, cash counters etc.,


  1. I am living in CIT colony and for the past 4 months have been noticing red worms in water (in bathroom) v cleaned the over head tank but with no luck.the worms are back,and its miserable.

  2. The link to complaint site that u have given is not working. Similar worms in my room and office water supply.

  3. Please try this

  4. No I meant the site to register complaints. The actual link is

  5. Oh ! Sorry...

    Please find below the instructions here to file complaints.


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