AUSTIN (KXAN) – Chlorine shortages and higher prices have continued to be a concern since last summer. The country first experienced a hit to the industry in the fall of 2020 when Hurricane Laura destroyed one of the country’s largest chlorine plants.
However, there is some good news when it comes to these chlorine shortages. Several swim schools, the YMCA, and the city of Austin have all reported not having had any major problems compared to private customers.
As summer approaches, pool owners can face chlorine shortages
Many of them have trades and contracts. For example, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Aquatic Division reports that they have a multi-year contract with two suppliers that ensures they get the chlorine they need. In fiscal 2019 they used more than 70,000 gallons.
“We do not anticipate that chlorine shortages will be an issue in the Austin Parks and Recreation Department’s Aquatic Division,” said Jodi Jay, director of the Aquatic Division.
Speaking of residential customers, staff at Hill Country Pools, a pool repair company, said they were affected by the shortage and are preparing for this summer.
“Thankfully the chlorine shortage has improved a lot in the past few months, it’s kind of a make or break at the moment,” said Forest James, owner of Hill Country Pools. “We buy quite a bit since we’ve been in business for so long and we have to buy in bulk. Sometimes they don’t have any and when they do, we buy as much as we can.”
James added that they are taking precautions ahead of the hot temperatures.
“We have planned ahead to let our customers know that we are working with our suppliers to stock and have everything we need to keep the pools clean and perfectly chlorinated.”
Another shortage, James said, is swimming pool pumps. This is especially important now that many are struggling with cold weather. James said pool owners should keep their pumps running 24 hours if it freezes overnight.
The city of Austin is now hiring lifeguards for the upcoming summer season. They need around 500 lifeguards, pay starts at $15 an hour.