ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Swimming pools are preparing to open by the end of the month, but a chlorine shortage may spoil the summertime fun. Pool owners are in for a shock as the popularly used chlorine tablet is hard to find on the shelves.
This is all due to a fire at the BioLab plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a large supplier of chlorine. The lab experienced a devastating fire in August 2020 that halted production.
Since then, prices have jumped and the product is jumping off of shelves. The shortage is expected to last through the season. Prices are expected to jump over 50%.
To help with the shortage, pool suppliers are recommending pool owners only buy what they need. If everyone buys more than needed, the product will be even harder to find.
For pool companies like The Pool Specialists, they saw the potential issue in advance and planned ahead. Luckily for their customers, they have supplies to make it through the season.
For Aquaport in Maryland Heights, they will not be impacted by this shortage. Their supplier has indicated no issues and do not anticipate any issues this season. They will not experience any closures for the season due to this. Aquaport will open to the public on May 29 for the first swim of the season.
But for those who can’t seem find chlorine on the shelves, there is another option.
“We’ve got some customers that are concerned that actually called us this morning. I did talk to two of my suppliers and they are completely out of the tabs, which is what we use,” said Scott Guetschow, The Pool Specialists. “One option that we are offering pool and a lot of our new customers have is a salt water pool. So, it would be converting to a salt water pool which would entail adding a salt generator.”
Converting to a salt generator is expected to cost around $2,800.