HAZMAT team investigating a container of corrosive material, fire officials say

Atwater firefighters and the Merced County Hazardous Material Team responded to a hazmat situation in Atwater when a container of corrosive material was located near the Atwater Community Center, according to officials.

CalFire Merced County Capt. Matt Bernard said the container was found the area of East Bellevue Road and Constitution Drive at about 11:56 a.m.

A passerby reported the drum on the sidewalk which was labeled corrosive.

Authorities discovered the 15 gallon container was filled with about four gallons of liquid. A sample was retrieved for chemical testing and the chemical was determined to be chlorine bleach, Bernard said.

According to Bernard, the chemical in that volume and at that percentage, is typically used for swimming pools. Bernard said exposure to the chemical in that volume may cause difficulty breathing, dizziness and nausea.

“The drum was not leaking and there was no exposure of chemicals outside the container,” said Bernard.