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First, it was toilet paper. Then, computer chips. Now there’s a chlorine shortage? It’s true. An imbalance between supply and demand for chlorine has resulted in people worrying about whether they’ll be able to enjoy their pools and hot tubs this summer. Yes, you may want to look into shoring up your supply, but there are also alternative ways to keep your pool water clean. We’ll cover those options and some other information on the shortage, including how video can help you understand pool needs.

Supply & Demand

Let’s talk about supply first. There were only three major chlorine suppliers in the US prior to August 2020. When Hurricane Laura slammed into Louisiana, it came ashore as a Category 4 storm. The damage done by Laura included a destructive fire at a major chemical plant that happened to be one of the country’s biggest suppliers for chlorine. The BioLab plant isn’t due to reopen for another year, so now Occidental Petroleum and Clearon Corporation are the left to manufacture chlorine tablets.

Now onto demand. When the pandemic hit in 2020, people were forgoing vacations and staying at home. The demand for pool installation skyrocketed, along with pool supplies. There has also been an uptick in chlorine purchase by industrial businesses to use as a surface disinfectant. Overall, chlorine sales have gone up while supply has decreased.

The Role of Chlorine

For someone who’s trying to understand the chlorine shortage and how it affects their pool, it’s useful to know the mechanism behind the chemical. Over at Hasa Pool, they created a video that tells customers and potential customers exactly why pools need to be chlorinated. Points covered include the disinfectant properties of chlorine, what lurks in a pool that needs to be eliminated, and proper pH levels. Through video, Hasa is flexing its thought leadership muscle by speaking knowledgeably about pool chlorine. This helps build consumer trust in the company and recognizability. Even if a viewer isn’t using the services of Hasa Pool right now, they’re still more likely to form a positive impression and remember Hasa in the future.

What is Chlorine Killing?

So why do pool and hot tub owners need chlorine? And what could they be missing if they omit the chemical during a chlorine shortage? Chlorine essentially works in three ways: it acts as a rapid and persistent sanitizer, an effective algaecide, and a strong oxidizer of undesired contaminants. It kills harmful microorganisms that cause everything from the mildly annoying athlete’s foot to the sometimes deadly Legionnaires disease. So, yeah—you want chlorine in your pool! Here are a few of the recreational water illnesses it prevents:

  • Cryptosporidium
  • Algae
  • Legionella
  • Naegleria fowleri
  • Giardia
  • Hepatitis A
  • Coli

Chlorine Alternatives

If you can’t find chlorine tablets this summer, rest assured that there are alternative ways to keep your pool clean. Most still require chlorine, but some methods require less of the chemical, which is handy during a chlorine shortage. An ozone system, UV light system, or saltwater system will all cut down on the amount of chlorine needed. You can also shock your pool with an oxidizer, reducing the need for chlorine. Pool owners can change things up and opt to use liquid chlorine, which is more readily available than tablets. How do we know all this? Video, of course! Swim University has a YouTube channel full of tips and information about swimming pool and hot tub care. Yet another example of how video can quickly and easily provide answers and show off the knowledge of a business.

Summer SOS

So what does a chlorine shortage mean for pool owners? Be prepared to pay more for chlorine since prices are already up about 60%. You may also have a harder time getting your hands on supplies since people are stockpiling. In the absence of chlorine tablets or alternatives, some pools may not open this season. But don’t give up on hot girl summer! Instead, embrace the things that make summer great like ice cream, sunshine, and long days. Perhaps by next year, you won’t even remember that there was a chlorine shortage. Or a pandemic.

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