Sewage Workers Go Above The Call Of Duty To Find Woman's Ring After It Was Flushed Down The Toilet

October 23, 2014

A diamond ring accidentally flushed down a toilet was recovered three days later by a crew of diligent sewage workers that went way beyond the call of duty.

diamond ring found in sewage
Diamond ring found in sewage. / LancasterOnline

Cindy Vriens of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was horrified after finding out her daughter accidenatlly flushed her ring down the toilet.

The ring - which featured about a 1-karat diamond surrounded by four blue sapphires in an antique setting - was particularly special to Vriens because it had been given to her by her deceased grandmother, when Vriens got married 36 years ago.

"I'm going to say it's between 75 and 100 years old," Vriens told Lancaster Online. "The monetary value is meaningless to me. It's the fact that it came from her that makes it so special."

Vriens and others in the office made a desperate attempt to recover the ring from the toilet, but they failed. A friend told her to try calling the local sewer authority.

"When I called them, they couldn't have been any nicer," she said. "One of them said to me, 'I gotta be honest with you. Your ring is probably at the bottom of the Susquehanna River by now,'" Vriens said. "But they said they'd take a look anyway."

Three workers were dispatched to take a look down the manhole located about 75 feet from the building where the ring was flushed. The men opened it and began sifting through the "material" inside the 8-inch sewer line.

diamond ring found in sewage
The three LASA workers who found the ring. / LancasterOnline

Their initial search turned up nothing, so they decided to put a hose into the line and flush it with water. There's a U-shaped trap underground, between the building and the manhole, that prevents sewer gas from creeping back into the building. By a stroke of luck, Vrien's ring was in the trap.

A Lancaster Area Sewer Authority (LASA) official called Vriens, who said she couldn't believe her ears.

"They asked me to describe my ring, and when I did, they said, 'We found it,'" she said. "It was a miracle. I will never forget what they did for me."

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