Swimming pool owners facing chlorine shortages and higher prices this summer

Supply chain issues are causing shortages of some pool chemicals, including liquid chorine, which many people rely on to kill germs, bacteria and to keep water sparkling clean.

“It's no different then when you go to a grocery store and there is no cereal on the shelves, now they are telling us there is no chlorine," Walter Ptasznyk, who was buying chlorine to get his pool ready for a weekend pool party, told CTV News Toronto.

A transport truck carrying a tanker of liquid chlorine was delivered to an International Pool & Spa location in Oshawa, Ont. just in time as the location’s main storage tank was almost empty.

“Normally, this tank filled three times a week and it can hold 10,000 litres of chlorine. Now we are only allowed 8,000 litres per week,” Darryl Hudgins, with International Pool & Spa, said.

The store said it is only allowing each customer to have 10 litres of chlorine per visit to make sure there is enough to go around for other pool owners.

Factory shutdowns and an increase in demand have made liquid chlorine harder to come by, which has also led to major price increases.

“Our costs doubled three weeks ago, but we only increased our prices marginally because we still need to make sure our customers are happy,” Hudgins said. “In the past few days, the prices we are charged doubled again.”

Due to supply chain issues, inflation, and increased demand, many pool products have increased 30 to 50 per cent in price in the past two years.

There was also a major fire at a U.S. chemical plant in Louisiana in 2020, which also caused product scarcity.

“Transporting the product has tripled over the past year, you have a tight supply, and you put in all together and you have much higher pricing," Harry Martyniuk, with Pioneer Family Pools, said.

Pool stores say chlorine pucks or granular chlorine are still available and many pool owners also use salt water systems, but liquid chlorine will be more scare this summer and expensive.

"It's like anything," Ptasznyk said. "If you need it you are going to have to pay for it.”

It's not clear if the supply chain issues involving liquid chlorine will persist throughout the summer months, but if you use it, you may want to stock up on it when you can.