Private Land Burial Standards

Standards

The following standards shall be complied with for the private burial/human internment of a dead human body on private property in the unincorporated area of Delta County:

  1. The Delta County Sheriff, Municipal Law Enforcement or the Delta County Coroner shall be notified at the time of the person’s death when a private burial is planned or considered. 
  2. Under § 25-2-110 C.R.S, a Death Certificate shall be recorded with the Delta County Clerk and Recorder’s office within five days following the death 
  3. Under Section § 25-2-111 (7) (a) C.R.S., the owner(s) of land used to inter a dead human body shall record the burial within thirty days after the burial. In accordance therewith, the owner(s) of land used to inter a dead human body shall complete a Private Burial Affidavit. This Affidavit must be recorded with the Delta County Clerk and Recorder. 
  4. The body shall be buried within 24 hours from the time of death if it is not embalmed or refrigerated. 
  5. The burial site shall not be in a drainage swale, water course or floodway. 
  6. The burial site shall not be in the 100 year floodplain as designated on the current Delta County FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map. 
  7. The burial site shall not be in a recorded right-of-way. 
  8. The burial site shall comply with the following horizontal setbacks:
    1. 10 feet from property lines and structures. 
    2. 100 feet from wells, springs, drainage ways, ditches, and bodies of water.
    3. 25 feet from all potable water lines. 
    4. 10 feet from all components of an on-site wastewater treatment system. 
    5. 5 feet above the highest seasonal groundwater level. 
  9. The grave shall be covered with a minimum of 4 feet of compacted soil. 
  10. The longitude and latitude of the grave shall be recorded by a global positioning system. The location shall be verified by the Delta County Sheriff, Delta County Coroner, or two witnesses.

Cremation

The Environment Health Department would extend these same recommendations regarding the interment of cremains. Cremains from an approved crematory are biologically benign; however, we would prefer consistency in handling the burial of the deceased. 

On-Site Cremations

There may be some real health and environmental issues with non-commercial cremation, but so far there have been no problems in Delta County. Many on-site cremations could create different outcomes, and lot size may be a potential issue. A funeral pyre on a small city lot could certainly have a different outcome than the same activity in the middle of a 10,000-acre ranch. If many on-site cremations are conducted they may create Public Nuisance conditions. At that time, formal regulation may be required. 

Cremation on one's own property is not prohibited, but must follow some practical recommendations: 

  1. Adequate fuel to complete the task must be provided. It takes many millions of BTUs and a significant length of time for a cremation that results in nothing but ash with no identifiable body parts. 
  2. The cremation site must be as private as possible. The potential for odor and particulate fall out is there and could be an issue in certain areas.