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Which states allow water cremation (Alkaline Hydrolysis or Aquamation)?

Have you ever heard of water cremation? Also known as aquamation or alkaline hydrolysis, this eco-friendly form of disposition is a recent and increasingly popular alternative to traditional fire-based cremation. Rather than burning the body, this process submerges it in an alkali solution heated to approximately 300 degrees Fahrenheit; afterwards, only a sterile liquid and bone fragments remain which can be disposed into the environment or processed into ash respectively.

Water cremation is becoming a popular option in the United States, and as of 2021 it has been deemed legal in 21 states. In this blog post we will discuss which states allow water cremation services, as well as how exactly the process works. The following are some of those regions that accept water cremations:

  1. California
  2. Colorado
  3. Delaware
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Idaho
  7. Illinois
  8. Kansas
  9. Maine
  10. Maryland
  11. Michigan
  12. Minnesota
  13. Nevada
  14. Oregon
  15. Pennsylvania
  16. Utah
  17. Vermont
  18. Washington
  19. Wisconsin
  20. Wyoming
  21. Ohio (effective 2022)

Before taking the plunge of water cremation, it’s essential to become informed regarding your state’s laws and regulations. To help you with this process, here is a brief explanation on how Alkaline Hydrolysis (AH) operates:

  • Prior preparation and services complete, the body is placed in a stainless steel vessel and filled with an alkaline solution. Upon being sealed and heated to approximately 300°F for optimal results, the process begins.
  • Dissolution: After a few hours of processing, the solution breaks down organic material and leaves behind nothing but bone fragments. This powerful dissolution process quickly reduces the body to its most basic components.
  • After the dissolution process is done, liquid that remains goes through filtration to remove any bone fragments or other solid materials. This solution usually has an alkaline pH and is sterile so its disposal into the environment is completely safe.
  • Finishing touches: After filtration, the bone fragments are usually dried carefully. Following this step of refinement, they can now be processed or broken down into a fine ash to either be returned in an urn for family members or applied towards other memorial purposes.

Benefits of Water Cremation or Alkaline Hydrolysis

If you are in the process of selecting an end-of-life option for yourself or a loved one, consider water cremation! Here’s why: this choice provides numerous advantages compared to traditional burial and cremation including but not limited to…

  1. When considering the environment, water cremation presents a much more sustainable option than traditional cremation or burial. The process is not only energy-efficient but it also produces fewer greenhouse gasses compared to standard cremation methods. Moreover, there’s no need for any hazardous embalming fluids nor caskets that could disrupt the ecological balance of our planet.
  2. If you are looking to provide a dignified and peaceful solution for the disposition of human remains, water cremation is an excellent choice. It eliminates any distressing elements such as fire or excessive noise that can be off-putting during witness services. Thus allowing those gathered to focus on being together and honoring the memory of their loved one with calmness and serenity.
  3. Rest assured that safety is guaranteed when it comes to water cremation. The remaining solution, which is sterile and alkaline, can be dispersed into the environment without any risk of harm to the public’s health.
  4. An economically viable option for grieving families, water cremation is often cheaper than traditional burial services. It’s an honorable way to say farewell to our beloved ones without breaking the bank.

Undoubtedly, water cremation is slowly becoming one of a few new ways to say goodbye to a loved one’s remains. It is already legally allowed in more than twenty states within America and this number looks set to only increase in the near future.

Before settling on any end-of-life decision, it’s critical that you thoroughly research the relevant laws and regulations. Laws can differ from state to state as well as between funeral homes—so make sure to stay informed! Make an educated selection by assessing all of your options so everyone involved is content in their choice.

Ultimately, the decision of how to handle a loved one’s remains is highly personal and should be given careful consideration. Water cremation has become increasingly popular over recent years as more states legalize it due to its many advantages such as ecological friendliness, security during the process, respectfulness and cost-effectiveness. Families across America have embraced this method for these reasons and countless others.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Bridget

    I am interested in water cremation.
    I want to plan ahead, but money is very tight.
    I am located in Summit County,Ohio.
    Can you tell me what the closest location to me would be?

    If it is possible I want to preplan.

    Thank you in advance


  2. Elisa Horn-soule

    i my self have been heavily been thinking about this topic after just losing my mom and my children’s father. my mom was buried and the kids father was creamated each was there own preference. i have not decided. i dont want to turn green and ooze or explode in a coffin but also do not feel being creamated would be right by god. burning in fire reminds me of hell. my moms family does not believe in creamation. ive been so upset trying to figure this one out. this may be something i could accept . the only problem is i live in texas. can i get information

  3. Linda Ellis

    I live in Nebraska, wanting this, how do I set it up.

    1. Kali

      Hi Linda, currently there are now laws in Nebraska that have legalized the alkaline hydrolysis process. If you wanted to undergo that process upon your death, you would have to arrange to be transported to a different state where the process is legal.

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