New York Times
Just in time for pool season: Chlorine shortage.
Trapped at home due to the coronavirus outbreak, people who find themselves saving from canceled vacations and other cuts have created a record-breaking pool last year to provide quarantine. Is more fun Then, a fire late last summer shut down most of the country’s chlorine tablet plants. This year, the arrival of Memorial Day and pool season has industry experts warn of a shortage threatening backyard-to-coast plans. “People should start looking at other ways to disinfect their swimming pools.” Says Rudy Stankowitz, a pool consultant and educator with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Morning from the New York Times, the shortage, which Stankowitz described was somewhat exaggerated as “poolocalypse”; affects residential pools more than public ones, which generally use different forms of chlorine. Has public health significance Chlorine tablets are used to disinfect swimming pools and to keep them free from algae and bacteria, Stankowitz said. Insufficient sterile water can become cloudy, posing a safety risk and a major cause of drowning, Stankowitz said. Someone wanders in, you might not see them, or they might get confused and have no idea how to get out, ”he says.“ There have been cases where a pool is green enough that it looks like a lawn. ” The lack of chlorine has led new pool owners, such as Stephanie Winslow, to be wary of.Winslow is used to spending the heat with her daughter and friends at a local public pool. When shut down due to the epidemic, she purchased an above-ground pool for the cattle farm where she lives with her family in Philippi, West Virginia. “We pretty much use it every day.” This spring, Winslow bought a month-long chlorine tablet at Walmart for $ 26. After hearing about a shortage, she went back and bought enough all the time. During the summer, she said. But it’s not available at Walmart or Ace Hardware on Amazon. The same sized tablet that was priced at $ 26 a week earlier was almost $ 170. It’s hard for the summer right now because you don’t know if you will be able to use it or not this summer, ”she said. Others have fared better. Swimming in his backyard in San Antonio this past May as a Mother’s Day gift for his wife, Julia. The purchase was possible, in part because a pandemic forced them to cancel trips to Chicago and Hawaii. Swimming Pool “Improves the Quality of Our Family” Swimming Pool Nick Barbosa, who has children aged 6, 13. And 18 says. “We use the pool in the summer, maybe six days a week,” he says. “We were always in the backyard just hanging out and it brought the family together when we were stuck. In the house. ”The pool is cascading and made of fiberglass, requiring less chlorine and less chemicals.When he reads about the chlorine shortage in the Facebook group this year, Barboza bought a 50 pound chlorine tablet. From Sam’s Club, which is enough to last all summer. Barboza’s swimming pool is one of about 96,000 built in the United States in 2020, a 23 percent increase from the previous year, according to a chlorine shortage reported by Goldman Sachs last month. The report, based on a survey of regional retailers, expects 110,000 new pools to be built this year, the most. “In the same year since the Great Recession,” in another report, research firm IBISWorld argues that the pool construction growth is “the most important thing in the world.” “A way of creating social aloofness and fear of viruses”, adding a large number of new swimming pools may be enough to reduce the chlorine content. But the real problem began in August when a massive fire broke out at a facility west of Lake Charles, Louisiana, operated by Bio-Lab Inc., one of the leading manufacturers of pool and spa products. The largest of the country The fire, which happened after the plant was damaged by Hurricane Laura, burned it for three days, released chlorine gas into the air and halted production of chlorine pellets, Bio-Lab told the Safety and Hazards Investigation Committee. About 835 tonnes of the tablets were stored at the facility by US chemicals when a fire, a spokesperson for Bio-Lab-owned KIK Consumer Products, declined to say how much the tablets were destroyed, Stankowitz said. Trichlor’s are used to sterilize approximately 70% of the country’s residential swimming pools. He and other industry experts say the Bio-Lab factory produces most of the tablets in the country. The resulting shortage was almost unnoticed until recently as swimming pools in the northern states began to open seasonally and owners noted higher prices and purchase restrictions at Some shops Of the 26 pool supplies stores surveyed by Goldman Sachs, “15 expressed doubts or doubts when asked if they would have enough chlorine for the pool season,” the report said. KIK Consumer Products said it is building a new Bio-Lab facility, will have a 30% increase in production capacity and will “be in a good position to quickly resolve the shortage” when it reopens next year. say Chlorine tablets are not the only way to keep swimming pools clean. For example, a saltwater pool has a filtration system that uses electricity to produce chlorine. But installing a new swimming pool can be incredibly expensive, Stankowitz said. Less expensive options include chemical additives like borates, which protect against algae or liquid chlorine. To reduce the need for chlorine use, the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance, an industry trade group, recommends that people bathe before swimming to keep pets out of the pool and run filters daily. It also advises people to “shock” their pools by adding enough chlorine-boosting chemicals to kill algae and bacteria with liquid chlorine, calcium hypochlorite or potassium monopersulfate. Instead of chlorine tablets Above all, pool owners should resist the urge to buy panic chlorine, Stankowitz said. Doing so could risk making chlorine tablets as rare as toilet paper at the start of the outbreak. And people are starting to overload their supplies, ”he said.“ That only makes the problem worse. ”This article originally appeared in The New York Times, copyright © 2021 The New York Times Company.