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
Why Choose Aquamation?
Aquamation, also referred to as water cremation, is a method of final disposition that uses water and lye (potassium hydroxide) to break down the body’s soft tissue. This process, known as alkaline hydrolysis, speeds up the natural decomposition of the body to produce bones and a sterile liquid. The liquid, devoid of all pathogens and DNA, is discharged and treated at a local wastewater facility; and the bones are pulverized and returned to the next of kin 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 transportation, aquamation, death certificates, and the return of remains in an eco-friendly urn. Please call or email to inquire about additional costs for transportation greater than 50 miles. You can reach us at 919.907.9777