A Southern California bride-to-be offered hugs and heartfelt thank-yous to a team of city workers who rescued her engagement ring and diamond stud earrings from a sewer line only one day after she accidentally flushed her keepsakes down the toilet.
Last Monday, Carissa Wolter had removed her halo-style diamond engagement ring and diamond stud earrings and wrapped them in toilet tissue while she was cleaning her makeup brushes in the bathroom. Then she used additional tissues to wipe down the surfaces and clean the sink. Soon, she had amassed a pile of dirty tissues, which she promptly tossed in the toilet and flushed.
Within 30 seconds, the Jurupa Valley resident experienced a nauseating feeling in the pit of her stomach when she realized she had done the unthinkable. She had flushed her cherished engagement ring and diamond studs into the sewer system.
"I was walking back to my room and went to put my ring on," she told KTLA. "Then I just stopped and was like, 'No way.'"
Fiancé Kevin Winter was surprisingly calm after learning the fate of the engagement ring. "My heart dropped at first, but then I kept reassuring her that it was OK — things happen, accidents happen," he told KTLA.
The couple turned to the internet to learn the best way to retrieve jewelry from a toilet. They decided the first course of action should be to disassemble the commode, but when that strategy failed to yield the jewelry, they were forced back to the drawing board.
"I didn't know how I would get them back but I was determined to, even if I had to dig in the sewer myself," she told Buzzfeed.com. "My ring means too much to me to just let it go and give up so easily."
All the time, the couple was aware that the toilet should not be flushed again, so the jewelry wouldn't get pushed further down the sewer line.
The next morning, they called the Jurupa Community Services District (JCSD), which quickly sent out a team to set up a trap in the sewer lines leading away from Wolter's home. Then the sewer workers flushed the line to propel the jewelry into the trap. The strategy worked perfectly, as the jewelry was yanked from the sewer system about two houses down the block.
"I started crying instantly and just wanted to hug them and thank them so much," Wolter told KTLA. "I still can't thank them enough for returning my jewelry."
The proud municipal workers posted a photo of the recovered jewelry on the JCSD Twitter page. In the photo is a worker wearing rubber gloves holding the recovered engagement ring and earrings. The jewelry was a tad gunky, but otherwise unharmed.
A representative from JCSD told ABC News, "A ring like that is very important and we're just happy we were able to do the best to successfully recover it."
Wolter told KTLA that her new strategy for keeping her bridal jewelry safe is to never take it off again.
Credits: Screen captures via KTLA; Twitter/JCSD.