By Charles Creasey
Two ‘slimy worm-like parasites’ were allegedly found in tap water by two separate people less than four miles apart – and filmed wriggling around in stomach-churning videos.
Dad George Heard, 47, filmed one plump ‘larvae-like’ creature wriggling on a piece of paper as he poked it with a pen after it apparently fell out of his tap.
George, from Whiston, Merseyside, claims the vile bug clung to his finger when he first found it and has been drinking bottled water since.
Meanwhile mum-of-two Zara, who withheld her surname, claims she was left disgusted to discover what she believes is ‘some kind of worm’ wriggling about in her glass of tap water – just 3.5miles away from where George made his grim discovery.
The part-time actress and makeup artist, 30, was getting herself a cold drink during the heatwave on Monday when she says she noticed something moving about in the cup.
Zara’s footage went viral on social media with many claiming that it was some kind of parasitic flatworm or fluke usually found living inside molluscs or fish but can infect humans who come in contact with them.
However United Utilities said that they carry out ‘stringent daily tests’ and were confident that the water across Merseyside was of its ‘usual high standard’, reassuring worried drinkers that the two incidents were unconnected.
Zara, from Netherley, Liverpool, said: “It’s disgusting, it was just floating there in the water when I spotted it. My partner Anthony said it felt all slimy and he thought it was a maggot or kind of worm.
“I thought it was like a worm but at the same time it just seemed like some type of water snail or something like that – I haven’t got a clue but it was moving around in the water.
“If I wasn’t looking I could have drunk it, and if my kids had drank the water I would have been a lot more angry than I am now. It’s just different with kids, isn’t it?”
The mum of two says she called the water board on the same day she found the alleged ‘parasite’, but they allegedly took two days to respond to her query.
Zara said: “I was letting the water run for a bit, a couple of minutes just so it could go cold, because it was the middle of the heatwave and a hot day.
“You just don’t take the first wave of water, do you? You always let it run cold. So I filled up the glass after that and noticed it before I began to take a drink.
“I let it stand and then I just saw it floating. I was completely shocked to be honest, I just thought ‘what is that?’.
“I would drink bottled water but I’m concerned that it’s not regulated – so what am I going to drink now?”
George claims he made his grim discovery the same day as Zara and that he was instructed by the visiting maintenance man to simply ‘put a sock’ over the tap when he uses it.
He said: “I just turned the tap on and I saw it in the water and I was like ‘whoa, whoa’. I had it on the table and it clung to my finger so I had to put it on the paper.
“I was with my daughter Lily at the time. She’s only five and I was getting some water from the tap because she was painting.
“It was a good job I caught it in a water cup because I wouldn’t have seen it in a bottle. If she would have drunk that water I would have been furious.
“When the man from the water board came out he said just get a sock or something. Just put that or a pair of tights over the tap.
“My partner and I are on bottled water now. We’re drinking 5 litres a day.
“I wasn’t impressed. That thing looks like a larvae, it was alive. It shouldn’t have been in the water.
“The man who came out from the water board said it’s the first time he’d seen it since 1989. I showed him the other videos and said well now it’s twice in one day.”
A United Utilities spokesman said: “We carry out stringent tests on a daily basis and we’re very confident the water supply in Liverpool is operating at its usual high standard. These two incidents are completely unconnected.
“It’s unlikely these would have passed through our treatment process. To reassure both customers with regards to these cases we will visit their homes to take a water sample.
“We’ve had no other similar reports from either area both customers live.
“The investigation work we’re carrying out is standard practice to ensure the customer has complete peace of mind. We’ll be doing a full analysis on the samples in our laboratory.
“The customer can continue to use their tap water for all those daily activities. We will let them know in the unlikely event that the situation changes.
“The advice offered regarding a sock or a pair of tights is a simple way they can test the water themselves, to help give reassurance their water is running clear.
“By temporarily running the tap water through the sock or tight it will trap any particles thought to be present. This will show the customer the water is running clear and help put their mind at ease.”