CHINO HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — More than a year after an engagement ring was accidentally flushed down a residential toilet, public works crews in Chino Hills, California, recovered it and returned it to its owner, city officials said Wednesday.
The ring was first reported missing in March 2022, when a resident called the Chino Hills Public Works Department to report that a man had lost his fiancee’s ring down the toilet’s drain.
“Once he realized the ring was missing, he did what he could to try and retrieve it, even removing the toilet from the flange,” a news release from the city stated.
The man told public works crews that he then rented a sewer inspection camera to search the drainpipes for the ring, and that while he was able to see it, he may have accidentally pushed the ring even farther into the pipes.
Since the residence was located at the end of a cul-de-sac, city crews believed the ring could not have traveled that far even after several days of showers taken and laundry done.
Public works crews brought a closed-circuit television inspection truck and searched the city’s mainline for the ring. Sanitation staff also tried to flush the resident’s sewer system while inspecting the mainline in hopes of spotting it.
Unfortunately, the attempts to find the engagement ring were unsuccessful, but public works staff told the resident the ring could still turn up one day.
More than a year later, in May 2023, crews saw the ring while conducting routine sewer maintenance in the resident’s neighborhood and retrieved it.
“Staff who were originally in contact with the resident in March 2022 reached out to the resident to confirm the details of the missing ring, and once it was confirmed, the ring was sterilized and returned to the resident the next day,” the news release noted.
The City of Chino Hills said public works staff involved in the recovery were delighted to see how happy the resident was to get the long-lost engagement ring back.