The COVID-19 pandemic caused waves in the world of shipping and manufacturing, leading to shortages of appliances, lumber, electronics, and more. The latest product to be affected? Chlorine tablets. Pool owners might have noticed that it was hard to find chlorine tablets in the spring of 2021, and interestingly, it’s not just because of the global health crisis.
Read on to learn more about the chlorine tablet shortage and how you can still enjoy your pool during the hot summer.
What caused the chlorine shortage?
The demand for chlorine jumped in 2020 because people were spending more time at home and enjoying their backyards. In fact, according to a recent report from Goldman Sachs, the United States saw 96,000 pools being built in 2020, which is a 23 percent increase over the number from 2019. On top of this increased demand for chlorine, one of the biggest producers in the country experienced an unexpected crisis that sent shockwaves through the industry.
In late August 2020, Hurricane Laura hit the coast of Louisiana, and on August 27, the Bio-Lab plant in Westlake experienced a catastrophic fire. Bio-Lab makes treatment products for pools and spas, including many chlorine-based products. Importantly, they produce most of the chlorine tablets sold in the United States.
While, thankfully, no employees were injured, there was “significant damage to the facilities,” according to the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB).