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Chlorine shortage expected, supply still available locally

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 4:34 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Toilet paper and Clorox wipes were notable items that were hard to come by at the beginning of the pandemic. Now, as summer approaches, there’s concern about a shortage of chlorine for swimming pools.

Above ground, in-ground, kiddie, it didn’t matter, last year, when the pandemic started -- swimming pools were a hot commodity. And that trend continues as we get closer to the warm summer months.

“Pools, hot tubs, our in-grounds are out over a year now,” says Nick Arndt from Pool Works in De Pere.

But, as people continue to clamor for a place to swim this summer, finding chlorine tablets to treat those pools could be a bit challenging. The run on pools coupled with a large fire at a chemical plant in Louisiana last last summer, where the majority of chlorine tablets for residential pools are manufactured, is expected to lead to a shortage this year. “Half of our customers ask as soon as they walk in the door, is there a chlorine shortage, so yes it’s definitely a hot topic,” adds Arndt.

And while Pool Works in De Pere says, right now, it has plenty in stock. Consumers will notice an increase in the price of the tablets. According to Arndt, “I’d say about $30 for our largest size it’s gone up since last year.”

The shortage isn’t expected to impact large municipal pools. In fact, De Pere, which is close to wrapping up the construction of its new VFW pool, doesn’t anticipate any issue with its chlorine supply this summer. The city works with a water management company that has said chlorine will be available when it’s needed. It also helps that the city uses a different product than the one expected to become scarce. “We have a beat on it, we’re watching the industry, seeing what’s happening with the suppliers, making sure if there is a hiccup that we know about it.,” says John McDonald. He adds, “We’ve been assured through the water management contract that we will know first hand if we anticipate any shortages.”

Residential pool owners are just encouraged to beef up their chlorine supply early, while supplies are plenty.

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