Major chlorine shortage leads to price increases for swimming pool owners

OAK PARK (KABC) -- Last summer a fire destroyed a chlorine manufacturing plant in Louisiana. Now months later, pool owners are hoping the nationwide chlorine shortage won't dry up their plans for the summer.

Rob Lemon owns the Pool N Spa Emporium in Agoura Hills. He's limiting customers to how much chlorine they can buy.

"Right now it's really, really bad. I mean I'm looking at my distributors... they hardly have any supply at all," said Lemon. "So moving into the summer it's going to be very difficult to get chlorine tablets. It's very tough right now."

The reason for the shortage: The plant in Louisiana that manufactures more than half of the chlorine tables in the U.S. was destroyed last summer by a massive fire. The alternative is using liquid chlorine; but that's in short supply as well.

"We're just going to have to see. They're not giving us any indication that there's going to be anymore tablets coming so it's hard to predict," said Lemon.

So keeping pools looking good will likely be more expensive. The cost of a bucket of chlorine tablets can be as much as $90 to $100. That's nearly double the cost from last summer.

Don't be surprised if pool cleaners raise rates because of the cost of chlorine continuing to go up as supply becomes even tighter.

"I think it's a concern because if that's what's going on I was not aware of it. But I'm pretty sure it's going to go higher so it's a concern for us," said Patty Tarani, pool owner.
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