An alarming shortage of chlorine – used to keep pools clean and safe – has sparked alarm across the country, as pre-summer lack of supply keeps pools closed.
“There is a very, very good possibility that we’re going to run out of chlorine tablets,” said Rudy Stankowitz, a swimming pool consultant and educator told the New York Times.
The shortage, which began as just a chlorine tablet shortage, appears to be more than just that, as a year long hiatus from recreational activities meant that little new supply of anything pool related was created in the last twelve months. That, along with a pandemic building boom of around 96,000 pools according to a Goldman Sachs report, has emptied out the nations supply of pool equipment. From pool heaters to the chemicals used to keep them safe, suppliers are backordered for months and have seen no new product.
The shortage was further grown when a fire at the end of last summer caused a shutdown at the plant that produces most of the country’s supply of chlorine tablets. Without much reason to rush due to the pandemic, the closure of the plant had a significant, if delayed effect.
The shortage has created alarm mostly among summer camps and bungalows where swimming is considered a staple of their summer programs, sparking a rush to hoard the limited supply. Most worrisome are the locations with outdoor pools, which use up a considerably larger amount of Chlorine on a daily basis.
But all is not lost, as there are many other options to keep pool water safe, including simple replacements to the chlorine system such as salt-based systems.
“There are many other options, with respects of kinds of chlorine, to keep your pools clean, safe and sanitary,” a pool supplier said. “There’s salt-based systems, which are just chlorine production plants that you can put on your pool. Instead of having to buy chlorine separately, you’re making the chlorine for your pool via a salt system.”