Young lady with her dog.

Answers to Your Questions

Aquamation, also known as alkaline hydrolysis, is a similar process as what takes place if you buried your pet, just accelerated. Aquamation uses a combination of gentle water flow, warm temperature, and a small amount of mineral salts. Like cremation, ashes can be returned to you or to the Earth. The ash is lighter in color because it is clean without carbon discoloration. There is also approximately 20% more ashes returned since this is a gentle water-based process that does not burn away some of the cremains.

We use a metal ID tag and software tracking system to keep track of your pet throughout the entire process, from your veterinarian's clinic until they are returned to you. Pets are placed in individual compartments in the aquamation system. Once the system is closed, the process is hands-free and automated. There is not any commingling of remains during the process.

The flame cremation process occurs at 1,400º - 2,000ºF with the remains in contact with direct flame. Some of the inorganic mineral remains are lost to the air through the stack. The Aquamation process occurs around 200ºF without any fire at all, and the water circulation in the system is a similar flow to that of a creek or stream. It is very gentle to the final mineral remains, which allows more ash to be present at the end of the process.

Aquamation uses just a small amount of water, equivalent to about a 10-minute shower.

Aquamation takes 18-20 hours depending on the size and type of pet. After the process is complete, there is a drying peroid. You can expect your pet's ashes to be returned to you within 7-10 days.

Of all the methods of pet disposition, traditional cremation is the least eco-friendly. Traditional cremation uses a large amount of natural gas to heat the fire to 1,400º - 2,000ºF, equivalent to a 500-mile car trip. Additionally, a large amount of toxic emissions and harmful greenhouse gasses are released into the air from the process. Aquamation uses 90% less energy than traditional cremation. Aquamation is gentle, eco-friendly, and has zero emissions. You also get more of your pet's ashes returned to you.

With Aquamation, there are no direct emission of harmful gases or mercury to the atmosphere. This process does not burn any fossil fuels. It is very energy efficient - greater than 90% energy savings compared to flame cremation, with one-tenth of the carbon footprint.

A commonly misunderstood fact is that it is actually the water that performs the breakdown during the Aquamation process, not the alkali.

A hydrolysis reaction is any type of reaction where bonds are cleaved by the insertion of water molecules. With alkaline hydrolysis, a base is added to water to create an alkaline environement. This changes the behavior of the water molecules, causing them to dissociate into hydrogen and hydroxide ions. The solution is only 5% alkali; 95% is water. Equally important to the process are the physical characteristics of the system (design), the continuous flow of the solution, and the temperature of the solution. This all relates to collision theory and the rate and completeness of a reaction.

Most living bodies are 65% water to begin with, along with fat, protein, minerals, and carbohydrates. During the process, fats are reduced to salts, protein to amino acids and small peptides (which are groups of a few amino acids) and carbohydrates are reduced to sugars. The process breaks down all organic materials into their most basic building blocks, so small that no trace of protein or nucleic acids (DNA/RNA) remain. The organics are dissolved into the water, which consists of 96% water, and 4% amino acids, sugars, and salts by weight.

Yes, with 20 - 30% more ashes than one would receive from cremation. At the end of the process, the inorganic remains of the body (the calcium phosphate of the bones) resemble skeletal remains. In North America and other parts of the world, it is customary to process the minerals into a powder for placement in an urn. This is the same processing step that is performed for the remains that result from flame cremation. Some cultures wish to keep the mineral remains as whole as possible for ceremonial burial, and because Aquamation is so gentle to the remains, it is the ideal process for this purpose. For further information, see our standard package.

Take your time to say goodbye. You can use ice packs to keep your pet stable and minimize odor if your pet passes away during the night or if it may take some time to get your pet to us. Ice packs can also keep your pet stable while you take some time to have a home viewing with friends and family. You do not need to place your pet in a bag or box. You can bring them in a towel, favorite blanket, or whatever is comfortable for you. A potty pad can help contain any moisture your pet may release. Every situation is different, so please feel free to contact us for additional questions about preparing your pet to be transported.

You have a choice in who handles your pet's final journey. Contact us and we will work with your veterinarian to take care of your pet's arrangements.

Yes, the ash remains are 100% safe to handle. Alkaline hydrolysis is a proven sterilization process that results in pathogen and disease free remains.

The ashes from a flame cremation are primarily the mineral remains from the bone, along with some ash from the cremation box or casket, clothing, and anything else that may have been placed in the process with the body. The ashes from Aquamation are only the mineral remains from the bone, as there are no other materals in the ash.

The color of ash from a flame process is typically gray in color, from the carbon discoloration from burning. The color of ash from Aquamation is anywhere from white to a tan color. With both processes, there can be slight variations in color from individual to individual.

The consistency of the ash is also different. The ash from flame cremation can be described as "chippy" bone fragments. The ash from Aquamation is a homogenous (consisten) power. With Aquamation, there is 20 - 30% more ash remains returned to the family.

Do you have other questions? Please contact us and we will be happy to answer them.

Young girl with kitten.

Life is made up of meetings and partings, but the parting of a beloved pet is especially hard. Eternal Waters Aquamation provides a gentle way to preserve those fond memories by using the calm action of alkaline water to return your pet to the earth and recover the ashes of your pet for you.

Call 210-251-7113
for an appointment

8801 FM 1976, #117
Converse, TX 78109
Sunday - Friday
(Closed Saturdays)
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Currently by appointment only