Q: What is Eco-Friendly Water Cremation?
Eco-friendly water cremation, also known as aquamation, is a slow, gentle and quiet process that simply speeds up the natural decomposition of your pet’s body.
Like flame cremation, water cremation only degrades the soft tissue, leaving bone which is then dried and ground into cremated remains.
While flame cremation uses a flame fed by natural gas and creates a large amount of CO2, water cremation does not use natural gas and does not produce CO2. Instead, it uses alkaline hydrolysis — hundreds of gallons of swirling water combined with two types of white crystalized alkali. It replicates what would happen to your pet’s body if it were buried in the ground, just faster.
With eco-friendly water cremation, families now have an option that is gentler on their pet’s body and that saves energy and reduces pollution.
Radiant Heart is very proud to be the first provider of this service north of Seattle. The desire for a gentler and eco-friendly alternative has already proven to be significant. January 2019 was the first full month Radiant Heart offered water cremation as an option, and right away 51% of pet parents chose water cremation for their pets. As of April 2019, that percentage has already grown to 67%. We anticipate that this number will continue to steadily increase as more and more pet parents learn about this wonderful new alternative to flame cremation.
Here is a video that further explains the process:
Water cremation is better in every way except one: time efficiency. Although flame cremation only takes a few hours, even the most efficient flame crematoriums use a lot of natural gas and the by-product is a lot of CO2.
With flame cremation we offer only private cremation — your pet will be the only pet in the crematorium.
With eco-friendly water cremation pets are partitioned — they are placed in a cradle in their own compartment with a steel ID tag. You will receive only your pet’s cremated remains.
With flame cremation, we offer a 3-day guarantee and same-day service is available. It takes 1-4 hours to cremate a pet.
Water cremation takes a little longer. The process itself takes about 20 hours, and then there is a multi-day drying time. We offer a 7-day guarantee.
The cremated remains created by water cremation are softer and finer than those created by flame cremation. Also, due to the fact that flame cremation is more destructive, water cremation generates 20% more cremated remains than flame cremation.
Witnessed cremations are available for both flame and water cremation.
For a quick reference, please see Radiant Heart’s Comparison Chart.
Q: With water cremation, will I get my pet’s ashes back?
With both flame and water cremation you will receive only your pet’s cremated remains. Cremated remains are simply bone that is ground down to the consistency of sand.
“Cremated remains” or “cremains” is the accurate way to describe the end result of any type of cremation.
The phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust” comes from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer burial service published in 1549. Back then, if cremations were performed, they most likely took place on wood piles and so wood ash would have been present at the end of a cremation.
With modern flame cremation, some residual black carbon may linger with the bone and this can be very “ashy.”
Q: May I have a more technical description of the process?
Please see Explanation of the Hydrolysis Process provided by Bio-Response Solutions, the maker of our PET400 pet aquamation machine.