A combination of closures linked to a pandemic and a massive fire at chemical factories has led to a shortage of chlorine.
WASHINGTON – Could a chlorine shortage throw a wrench in summer fun for pool owners?
This month, people are starting to open their pools. But this year, the main chemical used for cleaning swimming pools is in high demand and in short supply.
The chlorine shortage is just the latest of the economic shortages we have seen. A lot of people online are wondering: why can’t they find chlorine?
What is behind the shortage of chlorine?
It is a combination of plant closures linked to a pandemic and a massive chemical plant fire from 2020.
Just one word described this month for pool service company All Seasons Pool and Spa in Laurel, MD.
“It’s crazy,” owner Julie Pruitt said.
In May, his team will open between 12 and 16 swimming pools each day.
“Everyone wants their pool to be open before Memorial Day,” she explained. “Their pools are green and with the shortage of chlorine it is difficult to bring them under control.”
You read correctly. Those chlorine tablets used to keep swimming pools clean are hard to find.
“At present [our suppliers] let’s say all you had to order today would be an 8 to 12 week delivery, ”sighed Pruitt.
According to our experts, some supply shortages are common in different industries.
“There are a lot of shortages because [during the pandemic] there are some areas that have been completely or partially closed, ”Earle said.
For the chlorine industry, it was hit with a double whammy in August 2020. When a fire destroyed the Louisiana chlorine plant run by Biolab.
“I think they produce about 50% of the chlorine in the United States,” Pruitt said. “There are other manufacturers, but Biolab is by far the largest producer producing most of what we sell.”
Combine that with fewer workers in factories and fewer truckers on the road and you have a chlorine shortage in 2021.
“We tried very hard from the start to limit what people could buy,” said Pruitt. “Most of our clients have been very good at this”
From where Julie sits at All Seasons Pool and Spa, panic shopping from customers only makes matters worse.
“We will get by, we will have more stock of people who can use their pool,” she said. They just need to think about not just themselves, but the big picture we’re all in together. “
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