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The Aquamation Process

Aquamation is an environmentally friendly alternative to fire cremation. Rather than using 1700-degree heat, Aquamation uses a more gentle process, known as alkaline hydrolysis. An alkaline solution circulates around the body for 3-5 hours, performing the same goal as fire cremation – removing the soft tissue of the body so bone remains can be returned to the family.  Aquamation does not involve burning and combusting the body at high temperatures. Therefore, no toxic and greenhouse gasses are emitted into our environment and only 1/10th of the energy is consumed.

Aquamation and cremation both return the same remains to the family – bone dust, also referred to as ashes or cremains.

Aquamation offers the convenience and affordability of fire cremation as well as the environmental benefits of green burial.

There are many benefits to choosing Aquamation and Endswell is excited to be one of only three providers in North Carolina to offer this service. Continue reading to learn more about aquamation and feel free to contact us if you have any questions!

How Aquamation Works


End of Life

Endswell ensures the safe and careful transportation of the body to our aquamation facility in Hillsborough, North Carolina.


Place the Body

After Endswell completes the necessary paperwork, the body is carefully placed into the sterilized aquamation chamber.



The alkaline solution flows around the body and breaks down soft tissue in a manner similar to the natural breakdown that occurs in the earth.


Finalize & Clean

The process takes approximately 5 hours to complete. A rinse cycle is performed and the machine is brought back to room temperature.



The bone remains – the same as those from flame cremation – are collected and placed into an urn. The urn is returned to the family.

Why Choose Aquamation?

Simple & Gentle

Endswell offers one simple package, including eco-friendly water cremation, a process that is gentle and respectful, for our bodies and the planet.


Endswell’s aquamation package costs $2500 and includes transportation, paperwork, aquamation, and the return of remains in an eco-friendly urn.

No Cross-Contamination

Endswell ensures the purity and integrity of the final product by rinsing the aquamation machine and powering it off between cycles.

Environmentally Friendly

Aquamation uses a fraction of the energy as flame cremation and produces no greenhouse gas emissions.

Honoring Life

Endswell is committed to honoring the families and individuals it serves with dignity, respect, and remembrance.

Aquamation FAQs

Aquamation, also referred to as water cremation, is a method of final disposition that uses an alkaline solution instead of fire to remove the soft tissue of the body. Proponents consider it as “green” as natural burial and as convenient and affordable as fire cremation.

This process, known as alkaline hydrolysis, speeds up the natural decomposition of the body.  After circulating the solution around the body, Endswell returns bone dust to the family in an urn. This process is the same as cremation, however, it uses a gentle flow of water and lye rather than high heat and fire.

Many people choose aquamation over cremation because they believe it is a gentler process. Some suggest that fire cremation seems like a violent way to dispose of the body. They associate fire with death and destruction, and they associate water with life, rebirth, and vitality. Nevertheless, both cremation and aquamation accomplish the same goal–reducing the body to bone remains by speeding up the decomposition process.

With water cremation, it is much easier to prevent cross-contamination with the remains of other individuals. Unlike a cremation chamber, the aquamation machine is powered off and cleaned between each cycle. This ensures that the remains you receive will be 100% the remains of your loved one. Additionally, while a significant percentage of the bones is lost in the incineration process during cremation, aquamation produces approximately 20% more bone dust.

More and more people are drawn to aquamation because of its environmental benefits. Water cremation uses a fraction of the energy as flame cremation, and it does so without any greenhouse gas emissions. No mercury, chemotherapy chemicals, plastic implants, or toxic gases are released into the atmosphere. Rather, the effluent is cleaned and recycled at a local treatment plant to remove mercury and other harmful substances. This makes aquamation one of the most environmentally friendly choices for after-life care.

Endswell offers one simple aquamation service for $2,500 that includes local transportation, aquamation, death certificates, and the return of remains in an eco-friendly urn. There are no other hidden fees or costs. Contact Us for more information or call Endswell at 919.907.9777.

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