Direct Cremate

What is Water Cremation?

In this post we’re providing an overview on water cremation is and how it compares to traditional flame-based cremation services.
Water Cremation

Cremation is becoming more common across the country. As a result, the process is becoming more innovative. We are finding ways to make cremation even more eco-friendly and efficient as well as affordable for more families. One of the biggest innovations in recent years is water cremation.

What is Water Cremation?

Water cremation, sometimes called alkaline hydrolysis or aquamation, is an end of life service that uses a liquid solution rather than incineration to cremate the body. This distinct difference makes water cremation a more eco-friendly option, but there are a few other differences and benefits that make the process unique.

The Water Cremation Process

The process for water cremation is quite different compared to cremation that involves incineration. Although flame-based cremation has been around much longer, water cremation in many ways is considered superior. 

During a water cremation a pressurized chamber is used instead of a retort. The body is put into the chamber, which is filled with a solution. Water cremation is called alkaline hydrolysis because the solution is 5% alkali and 95% water. 

The water/alkali solution is then heated. As the solution is heated it breaks down the tissue and chemical bonds. The broken down particles are suspended in the solution. Once the cremation is complete the remaining bone is ground down as the remains.

The process is actually very close to natural decomposition like what would occur after a burial. Except instead of taking years it just takes 6-20 hours with water cremation. The time that it takes depends on the heat elevation.

The end result is very similar to the remains that are received after flame cremation. The one difference is that the remains after water cremation are lighter and more like powder. You’ll also receive 20-30% more remains on average. 

The Benefits of Water Cremation

Innovations come about because there is a need. While flame cremation is typically more environmentally friendly than a traditional burial, there have been concerns over its impact. 

Water cremation was developed to be a gentler option that doesn’t have negative byproducts.

  • No flame, so no smokey air pollution.
  • No harmful toxins released.
  • No coffin incinerated with the remains.
  • No medical devices have to be removed beforehand.
  • No flames means it’s safer for workers and the local community.

On top of all that, water cremation also uses 90% less energy than flame cremation. And the entire process actually only requires 100-300 gallons of water so it’s efficient in that regard too.

Water Cremation Costs

The cost of water cremation tends to be slightly higher than traditional flame cremation. Recent reports suggest that consumers can expect to pay $150-500 more for water cremation. The service is typically between $2,000-$3,000.

Our goal here at Direct Cremate is to make the cremation process as simple and straightforward as possible. We want you to understand all of your options so you can make the best decisions for your family. Arrange services online or reach out for more information today.