Local News

Netherlands man tests 'sewer creature' theory

Posted July 6, 2009 4:28 p.m. EDT
Updated July 7, 2009 5:22 a.m. EDT

— A man from the Netherlands is coming forward with a new explanation of what a slimy mass could be that is growing in the sewer below Cameron Village in Raleigh.

A two-minute video of the clusters, taken in April, was posted onto YouTube a few weeks ago and quickly made its way onto other social networking Web sites.

Ed Buchan, an environmental coordinator with the city's Public Utilities Department, said last week the mass is believed to be tubifex worms, which form clusters or colonies of about a half-inch to an inch in diameter. Also known as "sludge worms," they are normally found in sediment of ponds and are sold as fish food in both live and dried forms.

George Houthoff, who lives in the Netherlands, wanted to test out that theory.

Houthoff made a video of him picking and poking at tubifex worms as he tried to find similarities with the sewer blob. The tubifex worms reacted and retracted, just as the sewer's worm-like creatures did when city workers put them under lights.

Houthoff said during a telephone call with WRAL News Monday that he now agrees with the city that the sewer mass is tubifex worms.

Buchan said that because the tubifex worms pose no threat to the city's water quality, the city isn't requiring them to be removed.