Chlorine shortage looms ahead of summer

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 7:05 PM EDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) - With summer just around the corner, many pool owners are deciding when to officially take the cover off and reopen.

While that thought lingers, the hunt is on for chlorine.

“I buy three months at a time,” Doug Hopper said.

Hopper usually buys his chlorine buckets in bulk. However, a nationwide chlorine shortage has tacked on double-digit prices.

“I was looking at five-gallon buckets where they used to be around the $130, $135 dollar mark, and they’re around $170 now. They’ve raised that much,” Hopper said.

Greg Cochran, who’s an employee at Cochran & Co Pool Store in Ironton, says the phone has been ringing almost nonstop.

“Past few days, its been only for chlorine. They’ve been asking for chlorine and asking if we have it,” Cochran said.

They’re in stock now, but not for long.

“This is enough to probably get us through May,” Cochran said.

Due to the high demand, they have set a limit on how much chlorine people can purchase at a time. Currently, two big buckets of chlorine are allowed per family.

There are only three chlorine manufacturers in the United States. One of them named BioLab caught fire when Hurricane Laura took place, and it’s not supposed to reopen until 2022. This results have been having an effect on shipments.

“We placed an order yesterday, tried to get more chlorine, and they told us we for sure couldn’t get any for another two weeks, but we are promised what we bought last year,” Cochran said.

Experts think this issue will get worse, saying prices of chlorine may increase as much as 70%.

Needing chlorine to enjoy his pool this summer, Hopper will have to make adjustments to avoid breaking the bank.

“We’re gonna make it, we’re gonna make it, but like I said it’s gonna be month to month. Ya know, everybody’s gotta just share,” Hopper said.

After calling around to community pools in West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky, city of Charleston Public Pools is the only one so far that said this chlorine shortage could have an effect on their pool hours -- depending on the amount of chlorine they are able to get.

They typically open four pools. Because of the shortage, though, they said they may not be able to open all four.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest updates.

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