Six feet under

Lots of the references in this Staff Report indicate that caskets must be covered with x amount of earth. That’s not the same thing as an x-foot grave, right? I always imagine the depth of a grave being the dug depth, with the casket occupying part of that. So a one meter Canadian grave actually does approach six feet, right?

Now, is there a standard height of caskets such that the grave digger knows what’s needed to meet the minimum? What about states that required vaults?

I just wanted to comment that it’s completely appropriate for someone named “Rico” to be answering the question.

LOL - never thought of that, Chefguy… Then again, I see your point…

Balthisar, the average height of a casket is 23 inches. The smallest I saw was 17 inches. So let’s round it off to 2 feet.

1 meter is approximately 3 feet, 3 inches. So it would be just under 6 feet in Canada.

In California, however, it would be only 3 1/2 feet. Quite a bit under 6 feet.

One nitpick. The article says that "in the typical modern burial, the body is pumped full of toxic embalming chemicals ". This isn’t always the case. In particular, in both the Jewish and the Moslem traditions embalming is forbidden.

The article.

Also, it appears that the Canadian burial act Rico linked ( is actually the Quebec burial act.

An old friend of mine worked as a grave digger for a few years, and he said it’s four feet in Indiana. He is now under the sod, presumably four feet down.

I have some contacts in the industry. I’ll check with them to be sure.

I’ve always thought Cecil & Co.'s research was pretty thorough, but I was very impressed with his citation of Dafoe’s “Journal of the Plague Year.” Before I read the book and wrote a paper on it last spring in graduate school, I’d never heard of it. Good job!

Yeah, here’s the relevant Ontario regulation, which specifies that “(2) The owner shall ensure that interred human remains that are not cremated are buried at least .61 metres (two feet) beneath the natural level of the ground surface.”

Leave it to an American to think that Quebec regulations applied to all of Canada.

My apologies - I’ll see if it can be edited.

No need to apologize. The ways Canadian jurisdictions work isn’t particularly intuitive.