According to Maine’s Bangor Daily News, a crematory in the town of Searsport has become the first in the United States to dispose of bodies by liquifying them and flushing the resulting sludge into the municipal waste system. Owner Mark Riposta explains that the process doesn’t rely on harsh toxins:

“These are natural chemicals. They’re what your grandmother used to make soap.”

Though this method is a more environmentally sustainable method of dealing with the dead, if the active agents in a zombie sickness prove to be more resistant than other know pathogens, the infection could be inadvertently introduced into rivers, lakes, and drinking water supplies.

We first reported on this issue in 2010 when officials in the European Union were considering dissolving corpses in a  similar chemical bath.

In addition to the common criticism that turning grandma into sludge water is  disturbing and disrespectful, one can’t help but wonder if it could accelerate the spread of the coming zombie plague.




  1. I have a more immediate concern revolving around that practice which could lead to a myriad of diseases and even the potential zombie outbreak:: Prions. Prions are infectious misfolded proteins which cause the body mimic the misfolds within its own proteins. This results in an array of potential neurodegenerative diseases such as the infamous Kuru which nearly wiped out the Fore of Papua New Guinea. These prions are often transmitted through the contact or consumption of human brain tissue. The Fore were practitioners of funerary cannibalism and thus the disease spread through and decimated their population. The scariest thing about prions is that because they are simply proteins they cannot be sterilized. Burning, cooking, chemical sterilization, ultraviolet radiation, and any other conceivable method of destroying these proteins are ineffective. Prions cannot be killed because they are alive. As liquidated corpses enter the water supply, the risk of prion contamination increases exponentially regardless of filtration and sterilization efforts.

    I cannot say for certain whether these prions will be so greatly dissipated throughout the water that they will pose a health threat or not. I would both hope and assume so, but would remain skeptical of pumping the dead right into our drinking water.

    Whether these prions will lead to the zombie outbreak or simply a second mass occurrence of a tragic Kuru like illnesses remains to be seen. In either case it sounds like a risk not worth taking.

    • Well said. We’ve done several articles about Prions over the years. Please search “prions” to find them. Thanks!

  2. Well the bodies would be put into the waste system which is religiously filtered… I don’t believe this would spred the virus at all.

    • look into what fracking is! and what its doing to our water supply., A mans drinking water was flammable! google that shiz! crazy shiz!

  3. The process uses sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide – lye, essentially – to dissolve the corpse. It’s not immoral, it’s a recognized method for final disposition of a corpse. NaOH and KOH are more than sufficient to kill infectious pathogens via oxidation. If the chemicals are used in the proper quantities under pressure, the chemical reactions will be complete, and the final products will be chemically inert and safe for disposal in wastewater systems. The danger would be dumping the products into the sewer system if the sewage was not being treated – the same danger we would face when TSHTF. You would be assuming that mortuaries would still be operational.

    By the way, we all need to sack up and learn to deal with the way dead bodies are treated, even in a preapocalyptic manner. It’s really not that scary :-).

  4. Dermestid beetles is much better solution to this created problem

  5. A) totally disrespectful of the dead, and probably illegally so.
    A.2) a culture is measured in part by its treatment of its dead.
    B) could spread any number of contaminants.
    B.2) cr*pping in your own food/water supply is a sign of mental illness and societal breakdown, a total surrender to loss of faith in the future of humanity.
    C) ewwww!

  6. So essentially I’d be drinking Soylent Zombie? I’m assuming the chemicals would be enough to break down the virus (or other cause of Zombie Infection) before it get’s flushed into the water supply….at least it wouldn’t be as gross as the Zombie that fell into Hirshel’s Well on TWD. I think it’s safe to say that water supply was contaminated…

    Maybe this water won’t be. I’m curious to see what everyone else has to say on this…

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