Study: Swiss Sewers Flush $2 Million Worth of Gold Annually

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 11, 2017
By SPBer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

If you're looking for gold, you may want to skip the river bed and go to the sewer: a recent study has found that about 95 pounds of gold, $2 million worth at current prices, is flushed through the Swiss sewage system every year, according to CNN Money. Why? Do the Swiss simply hate gold so much they'd rather flush it down the toilet? After all, if someone can flush tens of thousands of euros down the toilet, surely gold isn't that much of a leap. The answer, according to Swiss scientists, is much more mundane: the country is home to a world-famous watchmaking industry, many of which are made of gold which is processed in one of the country's many gold refineries. Wastewater from these industries contain small flecks of gold that then get flushed through the sewer system. This could also explain why, in addition to hold, scientists estimate that 6,500 pounds of silver (worth $1.8 million at current prices) and smaller amounts of rare Earth metals are also flushed through the sewers. 

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