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Science & Technology

The Coming Sewer Gold Rush

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. We cannot say that in Switzerland, the streets are paved with gold. But the sewers? Environmental chemists studied Swiss sewage and found trace amounts of gold, silver and rare earth metals. Gold is used in high-tech and medical manufacturing, and some of it washes away. Scientists estimate the gold is worth $1.5 million. But if you're planning a gold rush to the sewer, chemists say it's probably not worth the cost of recovery. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.