Lost and Found: City of Moline, Ill. Retrieves Laser

October 14, 2015

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A variety of toys have been recovered from the City of Moline’s (Ill.) water resource recovery facilities. Photo courtesy of Robert J. Barnard, treatment operations manager and pretreatment coordinator for the City of Moline Water Pollution Control division.

A variety of toys have been recovered from the City of Moline’s (Ill.) water resource recovery facilities. Photo courtesy of Robert J. Barnard, treatment operations manager and pretreatment coordinator for the City of Moline Water Pollution Control division.

Employees have retrieved quite the variety of items from the two water resource recovery facilities operated by the City of Moline (Ill.) Water Pollution Control Division. The lost-and-found list includes toys, construction equipment, animals, drugs (likely flushed during police raids), and a $50 bill that paid for a staff pizza lunch. The most valuable item retrieved, however, was a $1500 laser pipe-alignment tool, said Robert J. Barnard, treatment operations manager and pretreatment coordinator.

“A construction company worker stopped by one day and said he lost the alignment tool in the manhole they were working on and was really hoping we could help,” Barnard said. The tool measured approximately 457 mm (18 in.)-long by 152 mm (6 in.)-wide by 152 mm (6 in.)-deep. “We told him if we got a large rain event, it may wash his alignment tool down the line to the plant but not to get too hopeful,” he said.

Two weeks later, a heavy rain resulted in high flows to the facility. Employees found the tool sitting against a bar screen in the wet well. The tool was in “decent condition” and “still functioning,” Barnard said. City employees were able to return the tool to the construction worker. “He was thrilled to have it back so he wouldn’t have to buy a new one.”

Lost and Found: Send Us Your Stories

Have you found something odd or unique in your collection systems or water resource recovery facility? Or, did you help a customer find something he or she lost? Tell us what you’ve found in your wastewater treatment systems.

Contact Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights editor, at jfulcher@wef.org to share your story. Follow the series by searching for keyword Lost-and-Found. Learn about other unique items found in WRRFs in the WEF Highlights articles

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