PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – Some pool owners could be left high and dry this summer due to a major chlorine shortage.
Summer has yet to arrive, and prices are already soaring, but what is driving up the cost?
Cesar Monje is the owner of Fort Lauderdale’s Tropical Pool Service. He dove into what’s causing the nationwide surge in prices.
“High demand and short supply,” Monje stated. “So, all of a sudden price increases double.”
BIOLAB, one of the country’s major suppliers of chlorine tablets based in Louisiana, burned down last August, right after Hurricane Laura, resulting in a shortage of the pool clearing chemical in its powder, tablet, and liquid forms.
“It’s been very difficult because I have customers coming in and complaining, ‘Why am I paying more for chemicals?’ you know,” he said.
Manje said last year a 50-pound tub of chlorine cost $150. This year it’s twice as much.
Local 10 News checked on Amazon and Walmart’s websites. Manje said almost everything pool related has seen a price increase of at least 15 percent.
What’s particularly concerning for pool supply retailers is that their suppliers can’t even guarantee how much chlorine they’ll have next week.
“This is how I make a living,” Monje said.
On top the decreased chlorine production, Monje said the pandemic and related travel restrictions created a demand for more home swimming pools, driving up the demand and prices for chlorine, pool equipment and even pool toys.
“All of a sudden it was a high demand,” he said.
So, what can pool owners do?
Other than stocking up on chlorine when they can find it or being patient until production picks back up, one chlorine alternative is salt. While Monje’s shop does sell salt, the chlorine shortage is a huge cause for concern.
“It is a horrible feeling because how am I going to survive,,” Monje said. “How am I going to serve my customers?”