Those who love to swim could see a chlorine shortage impact their summer plans. The supply of chlorine tablets used to treat pools and hot tubs to prevent waterborne illnesses is drying up.
“The main one that we have a shortage on is the sodium dichlor. That is a more buffered shock. It’s easier to use,” said Jessica Storts, manager of Capitol Pools.
Combined with what Storts called unprecedented demand, perhaps from families seeking socially distant summer fun, a fire last summer at a plant where chlorine tablets are made contributes to the shortage.
Storts told WRAL News that from 2019 to 2020, pool sales went up 500%. This year, it’s even busier.
Rising Sun Pools and Spas in Raleigh is in the same boat. Co-owner Tara Vassallo-Soto says she’s never been busier.
Due to the shortage, pool companies are limiting the amount of chlorine customers can buy.
“We’re seeing more commercial accounts, people that have hotel pools, HOA pools, neighborhood pools, that again, people are desperate to open back up because they were shut down all last year,” Vassallo-Soto said. “They’re coming in and trying to buy 8, 10 buckets of chlorine tablets at one time.”
The chlorine tablets are crucial to keep public pools open and swimmers safe.
“You’ve got contact dermatitis, folliculitis, Legionnaires Disease. You’ve got pinkeye, sinus infections, ear infections. All of those are signs that the water chemistry is not right in the pool,” Storts said.
Right now, the wait for installation of an in-ground pool is anywhere from a year to two years. For hot tubs, it’s at least a year.
Julia Hershberger ordered hers back in August and was told due to manufacturing, she won’t get it until June.
“It’s certainly a luxury. You can’t complain too much about not having a hot tub. There are certainly bigger problems in the world than that,” she said. “Yeah, it’s something where you’ve paid a lot of money, put down a deposit to have nothing to show for it is kind of frustrating.”