SWISS SO FLUSH, SEWERS COATED IN SILVER AND GOLD
Do you feel like you’re having a crappy time in this modern free market economy? A lot of people aren’t having fun balancing their budgets, planning for retirement or paying for their children’s education. Well, let me tell you now, this won’t make you feel better! You may have already read about the super clogs in London’s sewers. They are caused by super clumps of congealed fat and a disgusting mass of diapers. But that’s not how it goes in Switzerland. The Swiss sewers are ripe with crazy stuff too. But in Switzerland, that crazy stuff is silver and gold. No, seriously. Swiss sewers and everything in them are coated with flecks of silver and gold! Last year, researchers discovered more than 3 tonnes, or 43 kilograms, of silver and gold coming out of waste water treatment plants. That adds up to around $3.1 million.
$3.1 DOLLARS GO THRU SWISS SEWERS EVERY YEAR
But don’t rush to get a ticket to Zurich quite yet, armed with wading boots and a clamp for your nose. These are tiny, tiny, tiny particles of the precious metals. The government researchers believe that they are going down the drain from chemical, pharmaceuticals and watchmaking industries. They all use the precious metals in their product making and processes. According to the report author Bas Vriens “You hear stories about an angry man or woman throwing jewelry down the toilet, but we didn’t find any rings, unfortunately. The levels of gold or silver were very small, in the micrograms, or even nano-grams, but when you add them up it’s pretty substantial.”
SWISS RESEARCHERS EAGER TO RECOVER CONSTANT LOST FORTUNE
But while you shouldn’t jump on a plane to do some micro-panning, don’t think it will continue to just go to waste….water. The Swiss are always efficient and this is no exception. Researchers will explore these sewers coated in precious metals. They are now studying if it’s cost-effective to somehow extract these particles from the crappy sludge before it gets burned. That’s the normal procedure. But so far they’ve had no luck with the numbers. Yet it’s the western section of Switzerland in Jura that has much higher levels of gold going down the drain. That’s where most Swiss watchmakers do their work, using the gold as decoration for pricy arm candy. But it’s in the southern canton of Ticino where they’d have the best luck reclaiming higher amounts of gold, put into the sewer system from the gold refineries themselves.
So for now, enjoy the dream of standing next to a water pipe, catching your fortune in precious metals. Fall asleep thinking of gold sheep, maybe?