CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Due to a national chlorine shortage, a display for chlorine tablets at Gary Pools and Leisure on Union Road in Cheektowaga looks a bit different these days.
You can use salt generators to make your own chlorine, or use alternative products like bromine, shock and liquid chlorine.
Gary Pools president Todd Schupbach attributed three factors to the case of the missing chlorine: two relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, as people rushed to buy chlorine for their private pools and to create homemade sanitizer, and the third due to a three-day fire at the Biolab plant in Louisiana, one of the nation’s largest chlorine distributors.
“For the powdered chlorine and the tablet chlorine, that’s coming out of Louisiana,” said Schupbach. “They produced about 75% to 85% of the nation’s chlorine, so that’s why it’s impacting everything so quickly.”
Still, there isn’t as much cause for panic as may seem necessary for pool owners looking to cool off this summer. Alternative products like bromine, liquid chlorine, salt generators, and hydrogen peroxide shock can all be used in place of chlorine tablets. As Schupbach explained, you can still kiss pool season hello this year just by making a few adjustments to how you sanitize.
“Think of it like driving to work,” he said. “If they decide to do construction on the route that you normally take, you just have to divert and go a different way; you still get to work every day. The same thing’s going to happen with your swimming pool. You’re going to be able to sanitize your pool and use it, however, the application and the way that you treat it is going to potentially change based on the supply chain.”