In August of 2020, Hurricane Laura slammed into the Gulf Coast region of the United States causing major damage in the process. In the city of New Orleans, a fire occurred at a chemical plant that burned for 3 days straight, but its devastation will be felt within the pool industry for at least the next year and probably beyond. The chemical plant that burned was a major pool chlorine producer and 40% of the entire nation’s chlorine supply was lost during the blaze.
What Does This Mean for the Industry?
A significant amount of the nation’s chlorine supply was destroyed. There’s no getting around this and no way for the other producers to have made up the difference in such a short time. The pool industry had not fully recovered from the 2020 season and was still experiencing production issues, problems stemming from supply chain problems, product shortages, and unprecedented business growth and popularity directly tied to the lockdown and COVID-19. The fire compounded a situation that was already dire in that chlorine demand was already sky high before this event.
The pandemic and fire also arrive on the coat tails of a successful lobby by the chlorine industry in the United States to have significant tariffs levied on importing chlorine products. There are only 3 chlorine producers in this country and foreign supplies were exhausted during 2020. These three companies, (Bio-Lab, Clearon, and Occidental) were struggling to keep up with demand prior to the fire. The industry will not have enough chlorine for all of its current users for the 2021 pool season and possibly into 2022.
What Does This Mean for You?
This means that there will be a product shortage this year as people who rely solely on chlorine will face dramatic price increases, products being on allotment, products sold out, or not available at all. The need for either a reduction in the amount of pool chlorine being used or seeking chlorine alternatives will be a focus for pool owners. Some research may be what is needed to seek out solutions to this problem while keeping everyone safe and healthy in your pool this year.
What Are Viable Chlorine Alternatives to Use in My Pool?
There are many chlorine alternatives and ways to reduce chlorine within the pool and spa industry. Salt Chlorine Generators, Ozone Technology, UV Systems, Mineral Systems, Specialty Chemicals like natural enzymes, phosphate removers, algaecides, stabilizers, borates, as well as utilizing best practices to keep your pool water optimized. These practices include such things as regular water testing, brushing, and correct filtration.
What Do You Suggest as an Efficient Chlorine Alternative?
At E-Z Test Pool Supplies we suggest the Flippin’ Frog and Flippin’ Frog XL from King Technology. These deliver minerals to your pool through the use of a floating dispenser. This system utilizes both chlorine and minerals and when the chlorine runs out, the frog flips over letting you know that it’s time for a refill. Stopping bacteria dead in its tracks in two separate ways with chlorine and minerals thus reducing chlorine usage by 50%. Minerals have been used for many years to help regulate pH for pool water that sparkles and shines while also feeling softer. Because everything is pre-filled there’s no guesswork involved and using this system eliminates any potential chemical spills or messes. Read our full product blog or watch the videos below: