Belgium: undertakers plan to dissolve dead and flush them into sewage system

Belgian undertakers have drawn up plans to dissolve the corpses of the dead in caustic solutions and flush them into the sewage system.

The controversial new method [called Resomation] is said to be less expensive and more environmentally friendly than running highly polluting crematoria or using up valuable land for graves.

The departed would go into the sewage systems of towns and cities and then be recycled in water processing plants.

The proposals are being studied by the EU and if approved, it would mean the procedure could be used across Europe.

However, opponents of the plans say it smacks of a Frankenstein callousness towards the dead and one survey in Belgium found many people found the idea “disturbing.”

“The idea is for the deceased to be placed in a container with water and salts and then pressurised and after a little time, about two hours, mineral ash and liquid is left over,” said a spokesman for the Flemish Association of Undertakers.

The European Commission is investigation whether the resulting liquid could safely be flushed into the sewage system. Authorities in the northern Belgian region have yet to decide whether to approve the process.

Six states in America – Maine, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Oregon, and Maryland have recently passed legislation that allow the process to be used.

Although experts insist that the ashes can be recycled in waste systems, the residue from the process can also be put in urns and handed over to relatives of the dead.

Related web sites:

Source: Allan Hall, Telegraph, 07 Jul 2010

2 responses to “Belgium: undertakers plan to dissolve dead and flush them into sewage system

  1. We have a better method that referenced in this article. Our system uses a lower temperature, less water, and no pressure. We call our process CycledBurial(TM) as the soft parts of the deceased are returned to the earth.

    Our CycledBurial(TM) systems allow the deceased to be safely interred in the earth. It eliminates the public health risks experienced from burying unsterile human remains in the ground. Coffins, vaults, and cemetery plots are not necessary for those who opt for this new method of burial. This burial method costs about the same as a cremation, without causing harm to the environment or to the living.

    Burials have led to pandemics that have killed more people than have lost their lives in battle. The deceased eventually become liquid and pollute aquifers. Burying unsterile bodies places the living at risk. Protecting the living from the departed is a battle worth fighting.

    CycledBurial is a hygienic burial. It allows for a burial without the necessity of incurring the cost of a coffin, vault, or cemetery plot.

    Visit for more details on this new burial option.

    • The claim that corpses pose significant health risks, even after disasters is a persistent myth that time and again has been dispelled by organisations such as the World Health Organization. Microorganisms involved in the decay process (putrefaction) are not pathogenic.

      Wikipedia has a good overview article on the Health risks from dead bodies, which quotes the WHO and other reliable sources.

      Cor Dietvorst, IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre

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