Thanks to the kindness and quick thinking of some employees at a Minnesota wastewater treatment plant, a diamond ring that was lost nearly 13 years ago has finally been returned to its owner, Mary Strand.

Wastewater Treatment Plant

In Rogers last March, a diamond ring was unearthed at a local water treatment plant.

The discovery was made by John Tierney, who works as a mechanical maintenance manager for The Metropolitan Council's nine wastewater treatment facilities.


Tierney and his colleagues were clearing out equipment when the ring caught his eye amidst the debris. "In one of the shovel loads, we found this diamond ring," he said.

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Trying To Find The Owner

In their quest to find the ring's owner, they took to social media and began the search to finding a needle in a haystack.

"Recently, we found a ring at one of our regional wastewater treatment plants. This is a rare occurrence, and we want to return the ring to its owner! Please contact us if you lost a wedding ring down the drain." 

Their optimism was high as they believed that the distinct shape of the diamond ring would be instrumental in uncovering the identity of the enigmatic toilet flusher.

John Tierney - KARE 11

Many People Contacted The Plant

In early April, there were reports about a lost ring which led to hundreds of people who had lost their rings contacting the Met Council in the hope of finding them.

To help locate the owners, they were asked to submit photos of their lost rings. Only one photo seemed to match, as confirmed by officials who examined it along with the actual ring.


Local jewelers also reviewed the photo and both believed it was highly likely a match. Finally, after 13 long years, the rightful owner came forward to reclaim the lost ring.

The Rightful Owner

Despite the unusual circumstances surrounding the discovery of the ring in the plant's sewage, Mary Strand laughed and shared her incredible story with reporters during a press conference.

On the fateful day, Mary disclosed to journalists that she was in the downstairs restroom, washed her hands and prepared to flush the toilet. It was then that her spouse, Dave's, present to her for their 33rd wedding anniversary tumbled off her finger and descended to the toilet bowl's base. She reminisced, "It was rotating, I frantically reached for it, and it fell down the drain."

Mary, who was now without her ring, immediately picked up the phone and called Dave - the owner of a drain and sewer company - in a twist of fate. Dave finished his call, returned home, and began checking the toilet to see if the ring was stuck there.

Unfortunately, they found nothing, so they proceeded to use a camera to search the entire 200 feet of sewer line - to no avail. Mary said, with a huge laugh, "I thought to myself, 'He will never buy me another ring.' I felt guilty because it was a gift."

This is where Tierney and his wastewater team came in with their metaphorical capes on. While cleaning the muck off of a machine, they spotted a glint of light which turned out to be a diamond on Mary's missing anniversary ring.

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