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Homeowners who added pools during COVID now face chlorine shortage

A national chlorine shortage and price spike is looming due to high demand and reduced production capacity.

A nationwide chlorine shortage is expected to get worse this summer as pools -- particularly those at people's homes -- open up. It is also likely to drive up chlorine prices.

"You’re going to go to your local pool store and they’re going to be out for a day or two," Pat Allman, general manager of Tampa-based Odyssey Manufacturing, told the Tampa Bay Times. "It’s not going to be all gloom and doom. You just might not shock or clean or kill all of the algae as much as you want to.”

Multiple factors appear to be involved, according to reports. Fortune notes that some people installed pools at their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic last year after so many activities were shut down and summer vacations were canceled. This is largely expected to affect home pool owners in the northern US.

CNBC also reports a chemical plant fire destroyed some manufacturing capacity. The fire in Louisiana happened in late August last year, just before people started shutting down their pools for the season.

“We started buying early, way early, and stockpiled as much as we could,” said Allan Curtis, who runs a pool maintenance business in Michigan, told CNBC. “We won’t last more than probably mid-May, or late May, and we’ll be out of chlorine.”

Fortune reports that a 50-pound bucket of In Swim brand three-inch stabilized chlorine tablets went from $109 to $169.99 on Amazon. Fortune also notes that liquid chlorine is still widely available, but it's also likely to get more expensive.