A woman was reunited with diamond ring two years after it was accidentally flushed down toilet after hiring waste firm to sift through 12,000 gallons of sewage.

The company put a camera in to the cesspit tank, filtered the waste and even sent a brave worker into the tank with a metal detector to help Joan Speirs.

But by an astonishing co-incidence, an employee from the same small family firm stumbled across the ring more than two years later at a sewage works and it has now be returned to its delighetd rightful owner.

Mrs Spiers, 67, Conservative leader of Reigate and Banstead Council, in Surrey, was at the Charlwood Hotel, near Gatwick, when she lost the antique gold ring, set with a valuable certified diamond and a dozen smaller diamonds.

Julie French, who directs Dorking-based waste disposal company Clear Master with her husband, Colin, said: “She was understandably distraught. The ring was worth a significant amount of money but it was also of great emotional value because it was given to her by her late husband.

“We did everything we could. We emptied the sewage tank and put a camera into it to see if the ring had got lodged anywhere.

“We even sent a guy into the tank with a metal detector.

“We took out 12,000 gallons of sewage and put it through a filter we had built specially.

“We got permission to empty the tank at a Thames Water site and put it through the sewage works, hoping that would filter it out, but we still didn’t find it.”

The company, which has just eight employees, was working on a contract to clear out a channel at the same works two and a half years later when worker Lloyd Hampshire saw the gem glinting through the muck.

Mrs French said: “He took it in the shower with him to rinse it off and brought it into the office.

“My husband was the only person who had seen the original photo of the lost ring and recognised it immediately. Two of the smaller diamonds had fallen out but apart from that, it was just in need of a good clean.

“We verified it was the same ring then handed it over to Cllr Spiers, who was emotional to say the least. She had completely given up any hope of seeing it again.

“It gave us all a warm feeling because we knew how much it meant to her.

“She has had it professionally cleaned, because of where it had been for so long, and is keeping it in a much safer place now.”

(news source http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/8111123/Woman-reunited-with-diamond-ring-she-flushed-down-toilet-two-years-ago.html)

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