First it was toilet paper, now it's chlorine.
What's happening: There's a nationwide chlorine shortage — and just before summer, when homeowners start prepping their pools.
- Why it matters: The shortage is not only expected to worsen in the coming months, but also to drive up the cost of the chemical used to keep pool water clean.
The backdrop: A few factors are fueling the problem, including a fire last summer at a major pool products plant in Louisiana that's halted all production until spring 2022.
- But the pandemic-induced wave of demand for above-ground pools is also to blame, experts tell Axios.
What they're saying: "Everybody and their momma last year bought above-ground swimming pools, and now they're all buying chlorine," said Justin Vashaw, owner of Denver-based Swimming Services and Supply, which is limiting chlorine purchases to existing customers to prevent from selling out.
- "It's certainly going to be an interesting summer," he said.
What else: Even people out of state — particularly in Texas — are calling Colorado for pool supplies, driving up demand further, said Amy Prieto, the manager at Crystal Clear Pools near Thornton.
- Other pool products like filtration pumps and above-ground pool liners also are growing scarce, she said.
The upside: Experts say there are alternatives to some of the hard-to-find products, including chlorine.
- Pool owners can turn to other water sanitizing supplies like saltwater chlorine generators, hydrogen peroxide and NST tablets — but consult a local pool expert first.
Of note: Denver officials tell Axios they aren't worried about the chlorine shortage because the city uses calcium hypochlorite to clean its public pools.
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