Shortage of Chlorine for Pools in 2021? Here’s What You Can Do About It

Over the last year or so, all of our lives have changed in so many ways. Aspects of everyday life have drastically changed as well, from how we get groceries to how we run our businesses.

Those impacts have taken a huge toll on businesses across the world, in ways that a lot of us don’t consider. That includes the sale of chlorine- the production and availability of chlorine has dropped dramatically, while the demand stays strong or increases. 

If you are a pool owner, this could greatly impact you- there are things you need to know about what decisions you need to make for your pool in order to keep it in a clean and healthy state, especially if you rely on buying and adding chlorine as your primary method of pool care.

We’ve compiled a list of the most important things you need to know about what’s going on in the current climate of the pool industry so you can be aware of what’s going to happen to your chlorine availability.

 


National Chlorine Shortage

In August 2020, Hurricane Laura swept through the country’s petrochemical corridor and devastated so much in its path, including damaging a key player in the chlorine industry.


One of the victims of Hurricane Laura was a Trichlor plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana that was severely damaged during the storm and caught on fire. This plant was responsible for at least one-third of America’s Trichlor production.


Trichlor, a type of chlorine that is very commonly used in pools and typically in tablet form, is now in high demand, but with severely low supply, it doesn’t look like the production will be speeding up any time soon.


Even if companies decided to import Trichlor from other countries, it is possible that it would not be enough to make up for the massive hole in the chlorine industry that the Trichlor plant explosion has created. 


This shortage of Trichlor has created a ripple effect throughout the pool industry, causing demand for products that are hard to come by as well as raising the prices for said products significantly. 


Meanwhile at the Lake Charles Trichlor plant, production was reportedly  halted until further notice for the foreseeable future. 



The Pool Industry Impacted by Covid-19

Like all products, chlorine and all pool related services and product prices tend to fluctuate over time with increased or decreased demand. This is normal and expected, but what happened in 2020 was not normal or expected in any way.

Covid-19 has dramatically inflated the prices of all chlorine products due to the overwhelming demand for pool supplies and services over the last year. There is currently a skyrocketing demand for chlorine that will only get worse over the upcoming months as spring and summer draw closer. 

People are staying home now more than ever, causing families to expand their activities to their backyard- meaning those who have pools are using them more than ever, and others who can afford to do so are looking to install new pools or renovate old unused pools. Simply put, greater pool use requires proportionately more chlorination / sanitation. This chlorine boom has been increasing since lockdowns world-wide began, and really hit the pool industry hard.

Chlorine is potentially going to be a hard product to come by while greatly increased demand is compounded with decreased Trichlor production.


Manufacturing & Logistics Hurdles, Overlapping Demand

Along with this overwhelming boom, there is also a drastic change in the way that chlorine and pool products are produced, as well as . 

From the bottle, the chlorine, the box it gets shipped in, and other little related components that are needed along the logistical chain, all of these things are experiencing shortages due to having to put social distancing restrictions in place, slowing down production immensely.  These items then get backordered and the price goes up. 

All of the items needed for social distancing, like the cleaning supplies, sanitizer sprays and wipes, masks, and other PPE all cost money too which puts a lot of strain on businesses. Many of these items utilize or are related to chlorine production, and so encounter parallel demand that may draw off production earmarked for the pool industry. 

The biggest issue with the slowdown of production, however, is that at times there are less people now at facilities to be able to work on the production of products. Also, manufacturers can also be subject to logistical hurdles that delay shipping as well. 


What Your Options Are 


If you’re a pool owner who is already having a hard time finding chlorine or the rise in prices is already causing a strain, you’ll want to know what negative impacts might be coming your way. 

If you are unable to keep your pool properly sanitized, the greatest  issue you'll come across will be that your pool will start to grow algae, which can mar pool surfaces or damage your pool equipment and be really hard to get rid of. That also means you won’t be able to use your pool! It can also harbor microorganisms or pests like mosquitoes that can cause their own set of health problems.

One of the best alternatives for chlorine is to eliminate the need to buy and add chlorine all together by converting your pool to a saltwater system. A saltwater chlorine generator is a simple and easy to use device that just creates free chlorine. It simply means that it is using this “salt chlorinator” on your pool instead of the typical and costly- now more than ever- process of adding chlorine manually. 

For those who haven’t had a salt pool system before, it's helpful to know that the salt levels in the pool are so low in salinity(3,000- 3,500 ppm- the ocean is around 35-40,000 ppm) that you won’t be able to taste the salt, and even better, salt pools help get rid of the other  irritations that come with chlorine pools, like red eyes or itchy skin. Most people don’t even realize there is salt in the water, all they feel is how silky and clean the water feels.

Saltwater pool generators have around three decades of science backing them up to prove they are healthy and safe. In fact, seven out of ten pools as of 2016 are now saltwater pools! They have quickly become the norm in pool care, so if you’re a chlorine pool owner who wants to avoid the hassle and stress of the upcoming chlorine shortage, consider just making the switch now to avoid further costs down the road. You might be surprised to learn that some models of salt chlorine generators are so DIY-friendly that they can be installed in as little as 10-15 minutes!

If you already have a salt chlorine generator in your pool, it might be a good idea to double check how it's working, especially if it's older and might need service or replacement. We can help you check it out and weigh your options so you get the best value out of it and don’t have to do more work than necessary to replace it.

Discount Salt Pool can help you get started, and we’d love to help! We know times are hard right now, and if we can be of service to you, we’ll work with you to make sure you get the right saltwater chlorine generator that’s best for you and your budget. Feel free to reach out today at 866-766-5243 and a pool expert will be happy to assist you!


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