Chlorine Tablet Shortage Has Pool Owners Worries

In the past year, we've seen shortages of everything from flour and toilet paper to used cars. Now, as Michael George shows us, there are fears another shortage could impact summer fun (1:39). WCCO 4 News At 5 - May 24, 2021

Video Transcript

- In the past year, we have seen shortages of everything from flour and toilet paper to used cars.

- Now as Michael George shows us, there's another shortage could impact summer fun.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Pool owners ready to dive in the summer, but a growing number are having trouble finding an essential product.

BOB HOLTS: What you need today?

- A couple of things.

BOB HOLTS: Yes.

- Chlorine tablets, three.

BOB HOLTS: Sold out.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Bob Holt is the general manager at Aquavita Pools in Pennsylvania and says there are short supplies of chlorine tablets.

BOB HOLTS: This is by far the most challenging season we've ever had. This is the first time we've ever experienced a shortage of product.

MICHAEL GEORGE: The pandemic is part of the problem. Thousands of families stuck at home during the first few months of COVID decided to build a pool. The higher demand is coupled with lower supplies after a fire destroyed this chlorine manufacturing plant in Louisiana last year.

Some stores are sold out of tablets, and online prices have doubled on some sites. That has pool maintenance worker Pablo Battista turning to liquid chlorine, which is harder to use but cheaper and in greater supply for now.

- The customer, they want to have to spend money on.

MICHAEL GEORGE: The chlorine issue has some pool owners looking at alternatives like salt water pools.

- All soft systems down here.

MICHAEL GEORGE: Some stores are seeing an increasing number of people make the switch to salt systems.

- All you need is just bags of salt. You put it in and you're good to go. And you rarely need to refill your pool with salt.

MICHAEL GEORGE: For chlorine users, shortages are expected to continue and experts believe prices will stay high through the end of the summer. Michael George, CBS News, Congress, New York.