Scientists recover tons of gold and silver from Swiss sewers

Looks like everything associated with Swiss has royalty attached to it. From watches to artefacts and toilets, everything from the Swiss land comes with opulence. In fact, our analysis also stands true for sewage drains in the country. Yes, you heard that right. Switzerland’s waste system was recently found to be carrying tons of gold, silver and other precious metals, thanks to the industries that widely use them in the region.

Early last year, researchers uncovered 43 kg of gold in effluent and sludge collected at waste water treatment plants along with a massive 3,000 kg of silver. While the gold alone valued at $1.8 million, the silver was said to be worth $1.7 million. The team of scientists also found traces of tantalum and germanium – elements used rather extensively in technology and medical sectors. The data was collected by scientists working at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, who also noted that close to 70 percent of the world’s gold passes through Swiss refineries.

As per the group of researchers, “The levels of gold or silver were very small, in the micrograms, or even nanograms, but when you add them up it’s pretty substantial.” However, before you go all Sherlock Homes on your water taps, it may be worthy to know that such metal concentrations are completely removed before humans can consume it again. Tough luck, eh?


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