Like many other products that experienced unprecedented popularity during the coronavirus pandemic, chlorine is is now in great demand.
The need for chlorine, used to disinfect swimming pools and hot tubs, increased in 2020 as more people used their swimming pools while stuck at home under social distancing conditions. Homeowners also began building pools faster, which increased the additional demand.
In 2021, that demand rose even further after a massive fire at a major US chemical manufacturer in Louisiana late last summer. No one was injured in the disaster, but the company’s facility was damaged along with the chlorine supply.
Now there is reportedly a national pool cleaning shortage.
The scarcity could have an approximate effect 5.2 million residential swimming pools and 255,000 commercial swimming pools in the US, around 70% of which use chlorine, People reported.
Due to the high demand, prices are rising. Average prices have skyrocketed in some regions of the country.
Popular chlorine tablets, typically selling for around $ 100, are now sold out on the Amazon website. According to the New York Post, the same products are now being sold by other retailers for around $ 150.
Some stores that sell chlorine have even put purchase restrictions in place, similar to those used at the start of the pandemic on products like toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer.
Those who have worked in the chlorine distribution business say the shortage is inevitable.
“I call it ‘Poolmageddon’. It’s a chlorine crisis. A lot of people won’t be able to find the chlorine tablets they need this season.” Rudy Stankowitz, CEO of Aquatic Facility Training & Consultants, said CNBC.
Other experts suggest that all forms of chlorine may be harder to come by in the US, especially after the chlorine tablets are gone.
“”[I expect pool owners] has to move from tablets to powdered chlorine, from powdered chlorine to liquid chlorine, from liquid chlorine to non-chlorinated shocks and things. And I believe that all of these will literally go out. ” Allan Curtis, a pool entrepreneur, told the news agency.
Pool owners are currently looking for chlorine alternatives such as salt water systems that are also used to disinfect swimming pools and hot tubs.
How long the shortage will last is unclear. But some say that it will undoubtedly be the summer season when the demand for pool products increases.