In Brief

Plans for ‘water cremation’ are put on hold

West Midlands council is blocked from offering liquid option for funerals

Controversial plans to introduce “water cremation” for the first time in the UK have been shelved amid concerns that human remains might find their way into the water system.

A council in the West Midlands had been granted planning permission to offer what it describes as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cremation. The process involves placing the corpse in a torpedo-like metal chamber where it is liquefied and then flushed down the drain.

“There are concerns flushing the waste water used as part of the ‘alkaline hydrolysis’ process down the sewers would prompt what a source described as ‘the yuck factor’ from the public,” says The Daily Telegraph

Sandwell Council, in Oldbury, is working with Leeds-based company Resomation, which specialises in water cremations, to offer the service at the West Midlands’ Rowley Regis Crematorium. Resomation founder Sandy Sullivan insists crematoriums across the UK have backed the idea.

“There is no technical reason why the liquid can’t go down the drain,” Sullivan told The Sunday Times, in a article entitled: “Have a glass of Grandad!”

Initial reactions on social media to the idea of water cremations have been mixed:

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