OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s a first-of-its-kind service for grieving families in Oklahoma’s history. A Shawnee funeral home uses water rather than fire to cremate human bodies. 

“We are the first funeral home in the history of Oklahoma to offer this as a cremation offering through a funeral home,” said Robert Owens with McElyea and Owens Funeral and Cremations. 

Aquamation is a water-based alternative to flame cremation that uses 95% water and 5% Alkali to transform human remains into a liquid form.

It is also different from traditional cremation, which uses extreme heat and natural gas to turn remains into ashes.

“Every time a funeral home that uses a flame retort cremates a human being, they emit greenhouse gases into our atmosphere,” said Owens. “Our process has zero emissions.” 

Owens told KFOR it’s an up-and-coming, more cost-effective alternative than a traditional burial.

He also said it’s a peace of mind for grieving families knowing their loved one’s remains don’t have to endure flames.

“It’s a much lower temperature,” said Owens. “It’s like a warm bath.”

“It’s better for the environment,” said Michael McElyea. “So that was the whole reason we decided to go ahead and spend the extra money and bring this to Oklahoma and serve our area here.”

Aquamation has been around for pets in Oklahoma for many years. 

As for the cost, it’s in the same range as a traditional cremation.