Lost and Found: Union Sanitary District Employees Save the Day

September 10, 2015

Featured

From left, Union Sanitary District (Union City, Calif.) employees Johnny Powell and Victor Vasut show off the ring they rescued. Photo courtesy of Shawn Nesgis, Union Sanitary District.

From left, Union Sanitary District (Union City, Calif.) employees Johnny Powell and Victor Vasut show off the ring they rescued. Photo courtesy of Shawn Nesgis, Union Sanitary District.

At least to some, wastewater treatment personnel are real-life superheroes. Union Sanitary District (USD; Union City, Calif.) Collection Services employees saved the day for Mehvish Tapal and her family after an heirloom was flushed down the toilet in early October 2014.

After Tapal realized that her 3-year-old son flushed a ring that had been in her husband’s family for 60 years, the family called a plumber to televise their lateral sewer line. When nothing was found, Tapal reported the missing ring to USD, according to a USD news release.

After completing regular work assignments, USD crews traveled to Tapal’s neighborhood on three different days to search for the ring before returning service vehicles back to USD’s 125,905 m3/d (33-million gal/d) water resource recovery facility. Crews were about to give up the search when they found the ring on Nov. 14, 2014. During the 6 weeks the ring was missing, it had traveled 0.53 km (0.33 mi) away from the house and around several corners in the collection system.

The Union City Sanitary District runs a 125,905 m3/d (33-million gal/d) water resource recovery facility. Photo courtesy of Michelle Powell, Union Sanitary District.

The Union City Sanitary District runs a 125,905 m3/d (33-million gal/d) water resource recovery facility. Photo courtesy of Michelle Powell, Union Sanitary District.

“It’s an amazing story, considering how much time had passed,” said Shawn Nesgis, USD Collection Services supervisor. “It’s rare to find something like this. It’s like a needle in a haystack.”

Crews were able to recover the ring before it reached a larger line where recovery would not have been possible, according to the news release.

“We’re glad to be able to return something of such sentimental value to the family,” Nesgis said.

Read more about this as well as an another ring rescued by USD in August at http://www.unionsanitary.com/whatsNew.htm.

 — Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

Lost and Found: Send Us Your Stories

Have you found something odd or unique in your collection systems or water resource recovery facility (WRRF)? Or, did you help a customer find something they 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, and follow the series by searching for keyword LostandFound.

Learn about other unique items found in WRRFs in the WEF Highlights articles

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
, , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.