Water Cremation Plan Suspended Because No One's Last Wish is to be Flushed Away

By Gary Cutlack on at

Apparently, the future of disposing of bodies is a process that's known as alkaline hydrolysis, or a "water cremation" to make it sound a little nicer. It's where the body is placed in a tank and mixed with chemicals until the meaty bits dissolve, then it's swished away down the plug hole and the relatives are presented with the ground-up bones of their beloved. It's sounds pretty unappealing, but then again so does being burned and buried in an inescapable box.

There was a plan to try alkaline hydrolysis in the UK for the first time in Birmingham, where a council sought permission to start doing it. And seeing as it's such a weird new thing, there's nothing on the law books that says you can't dissolve bodies and flush them away, hence Sandwell Council was given planning permission to start offering the supposedly eco-friendly funeral system.

However, seeing as everyone who hears this idea goes through several stages of emotion that begins with bafflement and usually ends at revulsion at the idea of relatives being obliterated and pumped down a blue plastic pipe into the sewer, Severn Trent Water has refused the council permission to put what is grimly known as the resulting "trade effluent" into the sewerage systems. So it's now unlikely to happen.

Perhaps Elon Musk could invent  something exciting to do to the dead involving lasers? [BBC]


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