Green Burial and Ground Water - Heritage Gardens Cemetery

   You lead an environmentally conscious life and now you’re researching green burial. Why should your values expire when your body does? There are ways to be as eco-friendly after you pass, as you have been during your time on earth. When speaking about green burial, the question comes up about groundwater. In a climate as wet as our Surrey cemetery, what happens to the runoff? 

   Traditional burial involves a casket going into a vault. Vaults are typically made of concrete or fibreglass for structural support of the grave; fancier vaults prevent the ingress of water from coming into contact with the remains. With our high annual rainfall, it’s not uncommon that cemeteries have a high water table. In developing our cemetery, it was important for us to address this so that we can offer green and natural burial, without laying the remains to rest in a pool.

   At Heritage Gardens we have designed our grounds so rainwater is distributed in the most efficient manner possible. Our soil content is a mixture of topsoil, clay, sand and stone. The entire grounds are graded for slope, this means that there is enough rainwater left in the lawns to keep them green and fresh, but not so much that the water ever sits there, penetrating into the earth. This is very important in rainy BC. Any excess water from rainfall runs off through an underground collection system that runs to a crushed rock filtration system and returns to the watershed. You will be able to see how this is done here.

   This system means that water is naturally drained from the lawns, keeping our water table below 10 feet in most areas. By using natural products and eco-engineering we are ensuring the animals and the environment we share our grounds with are cared for, into future generations. 

   A green burial means that you can naturally return to the earth, without epoxies and varnishes, or polyester casket linings and stuffed bedding or pillows- materials in the earth that will never decompose. Come see our grounds if you would like more information or to learn how we can meet your needs while leaving a greener planet.   

   If you would like to learn more about green burial and how to be eco-friendly at the end of your life, please contact us here and we would be happy to answer any questions.