Approximately 20 states have legalized water cremation and Colorado is one of them. Why isn’t it legal in every state? Casket companies and the Catholic church have endeavored to halt the legalization of alkaline hydrolysis in several states.*
What is Water Cremation or Aqua Cremation?
Water mixed with a calculated amount of alkali breaks down the soft tissue through a process called alkaline hydrolysis. After several hours, everything but the bones dissolve into a liquid safe enough to water flowers, trees and gardens. The amount of water used is less than a single household uses in one day. The remaining bone fragments are a white, uniform powder and may be scattered or placed in an urn. The Mayo Clinic and UCLA Medical School have been using water cremation for years.
What is the difference between traditional fire cremation and water cremation?
One of the biggest advantages of Aqua Cremation is that it’s very environmentally friendly. Using 90% less energy and with 10x less C02 emissions than flame cremation.
Prior to a fire cremation all implants are removed, pacemakers, silicone breast implants, medical devices, prosthetics and artificial joints.
With aqua cremation – implants are NOT removed. Any implants, including artificial joints, pacemakers, or fillings, can be recycled safely after the aqua process is completed.
Just like with flame cremation, the bones are processed in a cremulator to create a uniform powder. The remains, or “ashes”, from water cremation are typically softer and whiter in color compared to flame cremation.
Water cremation is gentler on the body and the earth.
Does Water Cremation cost more than Flame Cremation?
The pricing for Aqua Cremation starts around $2,100 and flame cremation averages about $1,500, though prices may vary significantly between providers. Package offerings with either type of cremation may include ash scatterings, Celebrations of Life, Memorials and other Services.
I had the opportunity to connect with Emily Nelson, owner of Be a Tree Cremation and learn about water cremation. This facility in Denver, CO is pristine (unlike some fire crematoriums I’ve seen. You don’t want to know!) Emily is kind, compassionate and caring. You and your family will be taken care of in a prompt and professional manner. Be a Tree Cremation offers a gentle and kind experience helping you make arrangements for your loved one and packages are fully customized to your specific needs. No upselling or sales pitches. See a previous Blog Post about why I endorse Family Owned Funeral and Cremation Providers.
*Source: US News
- Anita Larson is a Ceremony Leader and Officiant who blogs about her experiences with Celebrations of Life. Providing uncommon ideas and encouraging her readers to “Think Outside the Coffin®” when planning a Fabulous Farewell.