What is Aquamation?

Exploring Aquamation: A New Type of Cremation

Aquamation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, is gaining recognition as a gentle and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation and burial methods. This process uses water and an alkaline solution to break down the body, offering a method of disposition that is as eco-friendly as natural burial and as convenient as cremation. Endswell Funeral Home proudly offers aquamation services, combining ecological responsibility with the convenience families value.

How Does Aquamation Work?

Aquamation employs a process known as alkaline hydrolysis, where the body is placed in a stainless-steel vessel and then immersed in a solution of water and potassium hydroxide. The vessel is gently heated, which helps to accelerate the natural decomposition process that would otherwise take place over many years underground. This process typically takes around 4 to 6 hours, after which the body has been reduced to its basic building blocks. Bone remains, which do not dissolve, are processed into a white, sand-like ash and returned to the family, much like traditional cremation.

Why Do People Choose Aquamation?

1. Environmental Benefits: Aquamation is chosen for its significant environmental advantages. It uses less energy than traditional cremation and does not emit harmful greenhouse gases or mercury into the atmosphere. Additionally, it does not require the use of fossil fuels, making it a more sustainable choice.

2. Gentle Process: Many people find comfort in the gentle nature of aquamation. Unlike the intense heat of cremation, aquamation mimics the natural process of decomposition, using water and alkalinity to return the body to its elemental form.

3. Less Impact on the Environment: Compared to traditional burial, aquamation avoids the use of embalming chemicals and metal caskets, which can leach into the soil. It also requires no land space, which is becoming increasingly valuable as cemeteries become more crowded.

Aquamation vs. Cremation and Traditional Funeral Practices

While both aquamation and traditional cremation result in similar remains, their environmental impacts differ significantly. Traditional cremation involves combustion, which releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. Aquamation, on the other hand, has a lower carbon footprint and no emissions of harmful gases, aligning more closely with the principles of green burial.

In terms of funeral practices, aquamation can be incorporated into traditional services just like cremation. Families can choose to have a viewing or ceremony before the aquamation process, providing a way to honor the deceased in a manner that is familiar yet environmentally conscious.

Endswell’s Commitment to Aquamation

At Endswell Funeral Home, we offer aquamation because we believe it provides a perfect balance between environmental responsibility and convenience. It is as eco-friendly as natural burial, avoiding the ecological disruption associated with traditional burial, while offering the same level of simplicity and dignity as cremation. Our aquamation services reflect our commitment to sustainable practices, helping families make choices that are kind to the planet while providing a respectful and honorable farewell to their loved ones.

Endswell Funeral Home Offers Aquamation

Aquamation represents a significant step forward in sustainable end-of-life care options. It offers an environmentally responsible alternative that reduces the ecological footprint of final disposition, providing peace of mind for those who are environmentally conscious. As more people become aware of the benefits of aquamation, it is likely to become a more popular choice, offering a compassionate and eco-friendly farewell that aligns with the values of today’s environmentally aware society.

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

Step 1:

End Of Life

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

Step 2:

Place The Body

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

Step 3:


The alkaline solution flows around the body and transforms it in a manner similar to the natural breakdown that occurs in the earth.

Step 4:

Finalize & Clean

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

Step 5:

Prepare The Urn

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 $3500 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

What is Aquamation?

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.

Why should I choose aquamation?

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.

What are the benefits of aquamation?

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.

What are the environmental impacts of aquamation?

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.

What does aquamation cost?

Endswell offers one simple aquamation service for $3,500 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.

Aquamation: A Sustainable Alternative to Traditional Cremation in North Carolina, Supported by Endswell’s Eco-Friendly Funeral Care

Aquamation, also known as water cremation or alkaline hydrolysis, has emerged as an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional fire cremation methods, offering families in North Carolina a sustainable option for honoring their loved ones’ remains. Endswell, a leading provider of eco-friendly funeral care, is committed to offering aquamation as part of their comprehensive services, aligning with their dedication to environmental stewardship.

Aquamation involves placing the deceased in a chamber filled with a combination of water and alkali, such as potassium hydroxide. Through a gentle and natural process of hydrolysis, the body is gently broken down over several hours, leaving behind bone fragments. Unlike traditional cremation, which releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere, aquamation produces significantly fewer emissions and minimizes environmental impact.

One of the key benefits of aquamation is its minimal environmental footprint. By using water and natural minerals, this process avoids the carbon emissions and energy consumption associated with traditional cremation methods. Aquamation offers families a sense of peace and closure, knowing that their loved ones’ remains are treated with care and respect while minimizing harm to the environment. The process is gentle and non-invasive, preserving the dignity of the deceased and allowing families to focus on honoring their memory.

Endswell’s commitment to providing eco-friendly funeral care extends to their offering of aquamation as a sustainable option for families in North Carolina. With a focus on environmental stewardship and compassionate service, Endswell ensures that families have access to innovative and eco-conscious end-of-life solutions that align with their values.

In addition to aquamation, Endswell offers a range of eco-friendly funeral services, including green burials, biodegradable urns, and carbon offset programs. Their dedicated team works closely with families to create personalized funeral arrangements that honor the memory of their loved ones while minimizing their environmental impact.

In conclusion, aquamation represents a significant advancement in eco-friendly funeral care, offering families in North Carolina a sustainable alternative to traditional cremation methods. Supported by Endswell’s commitment to environmental stewardship and compassionate service, aquamation provides families with a meaningful and environmentally-conscious way to honor their loved ones’ remains while preserving the beauty of the natural world for future generations.

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