Green light for water cremation

Following a successful study, the UK’s first ‘wastewater consent to discharge’ has been granted for the water cremation process, the environmentally friendly alternative to flame cremation or burial.

Yorkshire Water has granted the consent, opening the way for water cremation consent applications from across the country. The widespread introduction of water cremation is being seen as a significant step in the funeral industry’s efforts to reduce its impact on climate change, according to Resomation, the company behind water cremation worldwide.

Samples from five UK water cremations conducted in April 2019 were analysed against a range of organic, inorganic and microbial parameters by Yorkshire Water, with the results assessed by experts at Middlesex University. The results showed that water cremation poses no concern for sewer systems, wastewater treatment works and their related operations and receiving water quality. No DNA was found to be present in any of the samples.

Yorkshire Water has subsequently granted a consent to discharge for water cremation to Leeds-based LBBC Ltd, the parent company of Resomation Ltd.

Giving people a new choice at the end of life, water cremation is an environmentally friendly option that accelerates the natural process using water instead of flame to reduce the body to ash. Currently offered in the USA, Resomation expects the process to be introduced in further countries across the world in the near future as a sustainable alternative to flame cremation or burial.

Howard Pickard, Managing Director of Resomation Ltd, said: “Water cremation provides a gentler end-of-life alternative and has a crucial role to play in reducing the environmental impact of the funeral sector.

“The positive findings from the UK’s first study of its type into the impact of the water cremation process on the wastewater treatment system will allow the water industry to make a more informed decision when dealing with consent applications.”

More information about water cremation can be found on the Resomation website.

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