Chlorinating Your Pool Might Be Tough This Summer

Louisiana factory fire partially to blame for shortage
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2021 8:30 AM CDT
There's a Chlorine Shortage Just in Time for Pool Season
Kieren Perkins of Australia competes in the men's 1500 meter freestyle final at the 1996 Summer Game   (AP Photo/David Longstreath, File)

A major shortage of chlorine has come just in time for pool season. Per CNN, a chemical plant fire in Louisiana caused by Hurricane Laura has caused a dip in supply of the tablets commonly used to keep pools clear and free of algae. The fire left just two domestic manufacturers of chlorine tablets, per CNBC. Experts say to expect a steep uptick in the price of chlorine and urge pool owners to run, not walk, to their suppliers. Even with prices already double those of last year in some places, the situation is likely to get worse before it gets better. CNBC reports prices could rise to 70 percent over last year's. In addition to the fire at BioLab near Lake Charles, demand for pool supplies soared last year as the pandemic forced would-be vacationers to entertain themselves at home.

So what's a pool owner to do? One option is a saltwater pool, which relies on the process of electrolysis to produce chlorine rather than the use of tablets. UV, ozone, or ionization systems can also be used, though the costs may be prohibitive to some and mostly still rely on at least a small amount of chlorine. As pool owners are forced to conserve chlorine, experts urge common sense solutions including maintenance of filtration systems, keeping pets out of the water, and showering before swimming. (More Hurricane Laura stories.)

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