The Tri-Cities: it's home to beautiful lakes enjoyed by many, but meth makers could be putting you and your family at risk, the next time you decide to help cleanup the area waterways.
The problem: plastic bottles used to make meth finding their way into area waters.
It's no secret that Tennessee has a meth problem, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration, more than 1500 labs were busted in 2012, and that's just the known labs.
A viewer contacted us with a concern about those one-pot labs, that could end up in the coves of area lakes.
Karen Cole Jenkins, and her family, try to keep the area around their Boone Lake houseboat trash free.
According to Jenkins, "Recently I told my boys...if their out in the cove on their kayaks to pick up any trash...we'll throw it away....but then a friend in law enforcement told us...well don't ever pick up any of the empty soda bottles or pop bottles because they could be remnants of a meth lab....and be very dangerous. They could even possibly explode."
While some folks like the Jenkins are taking that precaution of not picking up bottles out of the lake at all. Some people have learned the lesson the hard way. People like Aaron Warren of Johnson City who got burned when he opened up a shake and bake meth bottle he found here in Boone Lake in 2011.
"I work for the Boone Lake Association. We were picking up trash along the shoreline over at Rainbow Bridge and I had walked up on a Powerade bottle and I would always unscrew the cap to pour the water out where I didn't have to carry water weight...and when I unscrewed the cap it blew up and landed on my thumb and my forefinger.",said Warren.
Leslie Earhart with the Sullivan County Sheriffs Office told us what "shake-n-bake" meth bottles look like.
Usually they have a white or blue-ish powdery residue in them, but the best thing you can do is if you find a suspicious bottle, in the lake or on the land, is to simply leave it alone and report it to local law enforcement.
According to Earhart, "You know it is sad that you can't go out and just pick up trash that's along side of the road to help the community out. You have to be cautious...very cautious."
Aaron Warren told us the Boone Lake Association clean-up crew has found at least five shake and bake meth bottles in the lake over the past two years.
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