Nationwide chlorine shortages put squeeze on pool businesses

Published: May. 3, 2021 at 7:12 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Chlorine tablets across the country have been in short supply.

Last August, Hurricane Lauren wiped out a lab in Louisiana that was one of United States’ biggest chlorine manufacturers.

Owner of F.T. Kelley and Sons, Jake Kelley, said most of their customers clean their pools with chlorine tablets.

He said the loss of that lab was a big hit for his inventory.

“There’s only about three places in the country that manufacture chlorine, it’s just not something everybody makes,” Kelley said. “So whenever the largest supplier is taken out of commission, there’s just none to be had.

He said as of Monday, he was down to a few small piles of chlorine.

However, he said they have other chemicals that can do the job.

“It’s just going to be a little bit more difficult for people to get the supplies and learn how to use them when the tablets are so easy,” Kelley said.

He explained that the industry as a whole is feeling pressure because pool demand is up after so many people spent 2020 at home because of the pandemic.

At the same time, Kelley said that production of almost every product went down.

“There’s a steel shortage, there’s a vinyl shortage, there’s shortages on components coming from overseas, there was stuff stuck in the Suez Canal,” he said. “It’s just been kind of a pile-on.”

At public pools in Evansville, business should be running as usual.

Parks Department Director Brian Holtz said that they have plenty of chlorine stocked after spending 2020 shut down.

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