Scientists find gold worth $2 million in Swiss sewage
Oct 12 2017 by Johnny Bowman
Scientists speculate that flecks of gold flow into the waste water system from the country's watchmaking industry and even gold refineries.
A study by environmental chemists Eawag discovered 1.5 million francs worth of gold and silver each are lost through sludge from wastewater treatment plants in addition to rare earth metals such as gadolinium and the heavy metal niobium.
That's over $2.25 million in gold and $2.12 million in silver, researchers report.
Millions of dollars worth of gold and silver are flushed away in Switzerland each year, a new study has found. At certain sites in Ticino, concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile.
The study, commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, involved surveys of 64 waste water treatment plants across the country.