Study Reveals Sewers Could be Hiding Millions of Dollars Worth of Gold and Silver

Gold and silver may be in the sewer. No, not a figurative sewer – precious metals have been on a tear the last week. I’m talking about the ACTUAL sewer.

Researchers at Arizona State University with too much time on their hands have figured out the amount of gold and silver that end up in sewage sludge (the goo left behind after treating sewage) and calculated its potential value.

Exactly how much gold sludge are we talking about? According to the Smithsonian:

“They found that a million person city can produce about $13 million worth of metal annually, including $2.6 million in silver and gold. That shakes out to about $280 per ton of sludge of the 13 most valuable elements—silver, copper, gold, platinum and more.”

Researchers speculate that the metal ends up in the sludge as a result of  mining, electroplating, electronics and jewelry manufacturing.

Will sewage sludge be the source of the next gold rush? Hardly. At least not anytime soon. The study did not calculate the potential costs of finding gold in the goo or silver in the sewage, but it could be worth looking into.

Regardless, it’s kind of cool to know that there could be gold at the bottom of the flush.