Two barrels found dumped in a stream just yards from the Carson River contained the waste byproducts commonly found with methamphetamine laboratories, a city official said Thursday.
Each barrel contained about 15 to 20 gallons of waste, one filled with a solvent and the other with caustic waste, said Ken Arnold, deputy director of the Carson City Environmental Health Department.
"This would indicate a fairly large (meth) operation," Arnold said. "My understanding is a great deal" of methamphetamine was produced to create "this much waste."
Safety Kleen in Reno examined the contents in the barrels for hazards. The investigator was not available for comment Thursday.
Arnold said his department is investigating several tips, but no suspects have been identified. Whoever dumped the barrels in the stream draining into the Carson River faces possible charges of illegal dumping, dumping hazardous waste, potential drug charges and allowing a pollutant to remain in a place where it can be carried into waters of the state.
"This is not a normal occurrence for us," Arnold said.
Anyone with information on who dumped the barrels off Morgan Mill Road east of the Bureau of Land Management Field Office may call Arnold at 887-2190, ext. 105 or the Sheriff's Department at 887-2020, ext. 1400.
The barrels were found by a resident Tuesday and Arnold removed them Tuesday morning. The barrels had been in the small stream for less than a month, Arnold said.
He said the barrels did not leak into the water.
"We're very fortunate from that point," Arnold said.