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Chlorine shortage hurting homeowners, businesses with summer on the way

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Relaxing by the pool is something many of us are looking forward to this summer, but many homeowners have had a hard time treating their pool, due to a nationwide chlorine shortage.

Jonesboro residents Stacy and Janet French have had their pool for seven years. Stacy says they’ve never had a summer quite like this, having to go to Memphis and Little Rock just to find the supplies they need to treat their pool.

“We’ve been stocking up on chlorine,” Stacy said. “We’ve been to Little Rock, Memphis a few times, and every time we go somewhere, we’ll buy a few boxes... Your normal suppliers [haven’t] had very much and as soon as they get it, they disperse it pretty quick.”

The same can be said over at Aloha Pools & Spa in Jonesboro. Salesman Jeff Jones says he gets the same phone call several times a day from different people, asking if they have chlorine.

Jones says chlorine tablets have been running out as quickly as they put them in the store.

“We got in about a pallet and a half and went through that in about four hours,” Jones said.

He says a larger demand for a limited supply led to the shortage, a demand that started during the COVID pandemic.

“Our phone is ringing off the hook when people realized they weren’t going anywhere for vacation last year,” Jones said. “Sales skyrocketed not just for us but for everybody.”

Nearly 100,000 pools were built in 2020, a 23 percent increase from 2019, according to a Goldman Sachs report.

With more pools being sold, combined with a fire last August damaging Louisiana-based business BioLab, one of the largest distributors of chlorine nationwide, chlorine is in short supply, but Jones says there are alternatives to treat your pool.

Jones said using shock -- a chemical that kills bacteria by raising chlorine levels -- more than usual is recommended.

“The Baquacil and the Pristine Blue, you can use that for this summer until the chlorine shortage is over and then convert back to chlorine,” Jones said.

Jones added Aloha is currently out of chlorine as are they are expecting more chlorine, but they don’t know when.

He said it’s not just chlorine, they’re also seeing shortages in pools, salt, and hot tubs.

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