ST. LOUIS – St. Louis pool owners and pool supply stores are feeling the impact of a nationwide chlorine shortage, especially as the weather warms up.
“This is the third time I’ve made a trip to various stores and I finally found it,” said Craig Guempel, who owns a pool at his St. Louis area home.
He’s been on the hunt for chlorine tablets for his pool. He finally found it when he walked into Baker Pool and Spa in Chesterfield Monday and bought a bucket of chlorine tablets.
Chlorine tablets are hard to come by because of a nationwide chlorine shortage, caused by a fire at BioLab plant in Louisiana in August.
“We’ve had some customers drive up to 3 hours to get chlorine,” Baker Pool & Spa store manager Josh Davis said.
He said the shortage is also driving some chlorine prices up by more than 30% because the one plant supplied a large amount of the nation’s chlorine.
“It was hard to get toilet paper last year, that’s turning into the tablets, people just can’t get enough of it. It’s like a toilet paper shortage for the pool industry, you just can’t get chlorine,” Davis said. “Last August when we heard the plant was on fire, we knew something was going to happen. We stocked up. We know this was coming, so we stocked up in October and November.”
Davis said some people have converted their pools to saltwater pools because of the shortage, however, he said there are other workarounds.
“We have alternatives to help them get through that, different chemicals they can add so they go through less chlorine we’ve helped a lot of people out that way,” he said.