One might call this a one-in-a-million-dollar rescue. Okay, so the ring might not have a value of a million dollars on the market – but it sure does to the owner!

A diamond ring was accidentally flushed down a toilet in an office building but was recovered 3 days later thanks to a diligent Sewer Authority crew.


“This was above and beyond the call of duty,” stated ring owner Cindy Vriens. “In this day and age, for them to even go and look for it – I would have been thankful to them even if they didn’t find it.” Vriens, who had taken her daughter to a medical appointment, discovered afterward that her daughter accidently flushed the ring down the toilet. Vriens was speechless. The 1-karat stone surrounded by 4 sapphires in an antique setting was of considerable sentimental value as the ring used to belong to her now deceased grandmother.

Upon trying to rescue the ring from the toilet herself and failing, she called both her husband and best friend on the phone and cried.

That was a Friday. Over the weekend, family and friends suggested that she contact the local sewer authority. So on Monday, that was exactly what she did.

“When I called them, they could not have been any nicer,” she commented.

They were honest with her on the phone. As they are accustomed to getting a few calls like this per year, the searches unfortunately typically come up empty. But not this time. It turned out that the sewer line tied to the office building is not heavily used – and would likely remain that way over the weekend. It was worth a shot.

In a manhole approximately 75 feet away, the crew began sifting through, well, stuff that had been flushed down a toilet. Nothing came up. But there was a U-shaped trap where an object might “hide” if it were in the system. Sure enough, that’s where it was. Upon flushing the pipes with water, the ring was among the “debris” that flooded out of the trap. Start to finish, the search was successful in 30 minutes. It was truly a miracle!

Vriens sent over a tray of chocolate bars fresh from the oven on the way to retrieving her ring. “It was all I could think to bring,” she said. “They absolutely wouldn’t let me pay them, so I figured I’d back something.”

Vriens will surely never forget that day – and we’re guessing neither will the crew!