Why is There a Chlorine Shortage


It’s getting close to Memorial Day and time to pull the covers off the pool and get Rockin’ n’ Rollin if pool owners want to make the deadline but will there be a problem purchasing Chlorine for swimming pools again this year, most retailers say yes. Why is There a Chlorine Shortage

Retailers say the Chlorine supply in 2024 will be still less than the demand, due to a fire caused by Hurricane Laura in Louisiana that destroyed a major U.S. manufacturer of Chlorine Tablets in Aug. 2020 along with Covid Virus causing supply chain interruptions & staff shortages affecting the market

Before the Covid Virus the average price of a 50lb. container of Chlorine Tablets was just over $100.00 and now only 2 years later chlorine prices have soared even though availability and supply have improved. This year the costs will increase again for residential pool owners as a leading Chlorine manufacturer recovers from a major fire resulting in a broken supply chain.

 

Is There Still a Chlorine Tablet Shortage

 

Yes, Chlorine will be hard to find according to retailers. It may be a long hot summer, especially for people that use public and residential swimming pools. Chlorine for swimming pools. Is there a shortage of Swimming Pool Chlorine? Most retailers say Yes the supply is still less than the demand. The problem started a few years back:

  • The shortage started last August when a fire sparked by Hurricane Laura destroyed the Louisiana chemical plant that makes most of the country’s chlorine tablets.
  • The pandemic-fueled increase in backyard pools has exacerbated the situation by spiking demand.
  • The demand for chlorine products experienced an increase back in 2020 because people were spending more time at home and enjoying their backyards. In fact, according to a recent report from Goldman Sachs, the United States saw 96,000 pools being built in 2020, which is a 23 percent increase over the number from 2019.

 

On top of this increased demand for chlorine, one of the biggest producers in the country experienced an unexpected crisis that sent shockwaves through the industry. In August 2020, Hurricane Laura hit the coast of Louisiana, and on August 27, the Bio-Lab plant in Westlake had a catastrophic fire. Bio-Lab Company makes treatment products for pools and spas, including many chlorine-based products. Importantly, they produce most of the chlorine tablets sold in the United States.

Supply chain interruptions and staff shortages mean less product on the market. Stewart Vernon, COO and founder of America’s Swimming Pool Co., says these shortages don’t just involve the chlorine itself. “Not only is chlorine in short supply,” he says, “but also plastic buckets, lids and packaging products that we would typically fit chlorine tablets in.”

Will There Be a Chlorine Shortage in 2023

 

According to most retailers, there won’t be a shortage of Chlorine in the 2022 season but there will be higher prices that will reflect what has happened to the industry along with the economy in the last few years. According to the Goldman Sachs report, experts estimate that chlorine prices will jump by 58 percent when compared to the same period last summer. Chlorine Tablet prices have doubled since last season for a 50 lb bucket of 3″ tablets used by pool floaters. Granular Chlorine is about the same just a little less expensive.

A standard bucket of Chlorine Tablets was around 100 dollars last year but this year expect to pay up to $250.00 dollars. This is the price of Chlorine on Amazon as of this writing on Jan 2024  Clorox Xtra Blue 40 Pound 80 Tab Pool and Spa 3 Inch Long Lasting Chlorinating Tablets is 5.55

 

Be sure to have a basic understanding of the H2O test you are running, a reliable kit with fresh reagents that show the expiration date on the bottles or else no results you get Testing Pool Water will be valid. 

 

This season the price might even triple according to news reports. Bio-Lab Corporation was forced to cease production, the country was left with only two other producers of chlorine tablets: Occidental Petroleum and Clearon Corp. The Bio-Lab plant is scheduled to recommence production sometime in 2022. In the meantime price jumps are transferred to the store distributors who then mark up the prices for the customers until the situation comes back to normal.

 

 

Chlorine Alternatives

 

Retailers suggest residential pool owners stock up now and try not to wait to buy chlorine or take a look at other options would include chlorine alternatives such as salt chlorination systems, UV light, Ozone, enzymesminerals, and other specialty sanitizers.

Liquid Chlorine just doesn’t cut it you have to use 2x as much as dry chlorine-like powder and tablets. That’s because the concentration of chlorine in the formula is typically between 10 and 12 percent available disinfectant while the rest is made up of water and some salt. This leads to storing it on-site and other problems like shelf life. I have tried it on my inground pool as an experiment and it was a miserable experience.

I suggest using Granular Chlorine you may be able to get it a little cheaper but it’s more available in Pool Supply Stores than Chlorine Tablets. On Amazon, it’s comparable in price, using it is just a little more work but you have more control with Granular Chlorine. It can save you money by using it for Super Chlorination instead of buying Shock Treatment. Always try and buy in bulk for cheaper prices. From Amazon PoolSupplyWorld 73% Super Strength Pro Pool Shock 50 LB Bucket, 70% Available Chlorine 

Chlorine Tablets vs Granules

For more great informative articles like this on fine-tuning your pool this season then stay right here at MyWaterEarth&SkyWhen the swimming pool’s usage is on a different day today, the temperatures can be extreme stressing disinfection through the summer season. what is the best way to add Chlorine ……………………………….… Continue reading

 

JimGalloway Author/Editor

 

References: The Chlorine Institute

  CSB-Bio Lab Chlorine Fire Update

 

 

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