Missing ring found at sewage works after 13 years

Image: Tyler Nix

A woman in Minnesota has been reunited with an anniversary ring she accidentally flushed down the toilet 13 years ago.

Mary Strand was given the ring by her husband Dave as an anniversary present to celebrate 33 years of marriage, but while using the downstairs bathroom, the ring, slipped off and fell into the toilet. It was found in a sewage treatment plant just 300 metres from the woman’s home, and just in time for her 46th wedding anniversary.

Dave, who ran a drain and sewage company, used a camera to scour 60m of drainage to see if he could spot the ring, but there was no sign of it.

“I was thinking, ‘He’ll never buy me another ring,’ that’s what I was thinking,” Mary said in a local news interview. “I felt really bad, because it was a gift.”

Thirteen years later, John Tierney, mechanical maintenance manager for the city of Roger’s metropolitan council’s nine wastewater treatment plants, was shovelling debris at the facility with a few coworkers, when they saw something sparkling.

Hundreds of people who had lost wedding rings called in after the company put out the call on Twitter. Because of the distinctive ring design, it was easy to determine its owner and return it to the grateful couple.

Sewers are often thought of as dark and dirty places, but they can also be home to some unexpected items. Here are a few of the strangest things that have been found in sewers around the world:

  • A car: In 2014, a car was found in a sewer in London. It is not clear how the car ended up in the sewer, but it is thought that it may have been stolen and then dumped
  • A piano: In 2015, a piano was found in a sewer in Manchester
  • A live sheep: In 2017, a live sheep was found in a sewer in Surrey. The sheep was unharmed and was able to be rescued
  • A 100-year-old bicycle: In 2019, a 100-year-old bicycle was found in a sewer in Paris. The bicycle was in good condition and is thought to have been dumped by its owner during World War II
  • A gold bar: In 2020, a gold bar worth US$1 million was found in a sewer in New York City. The gold bar was thought to have been stolen
  • A human skull: In 2021, a human skull was found in a sewer in Chicago. The skull was thought to have been from a murder victim who had been killed several years earlier

While accidents happen, it is important to remember that flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet can cause problems for your home and the environment.