NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — With summer almost upon us, many people are looking forward to taking a swim in a local pool. But with a nationwide chlorine shortage, the ability to take a dip may be compromised in some areas.
The chemical shortage was caused by a spike in backyard pool installations last year.
“It’s an active time of the year if you’re in the pool business right now,” said Richard Sawatzky, owner of Sawatzky Pools & Spas, Inc.
With chlorine being essential for pool hygiene, people are looking for ways to keep their water clear and sanitized for a reasonable price.
This comes after BioLab, one of only three chlorine manufacturers in the United States, burned down after being struck by Hurricane Laura. The facility, which once produced 35% of the nation’s chlorine, is expected to remain closed until next year.
Sawatzky stated, “That made things even worse.”
With the demand for chlorine at unprecedented highs, manufacturers are struggling to increase supply.
“Chlorine in your pool is like putting gas in your car. The more you drive it, the more you’ve got to put in. So, the more swimmers, the more chlorine,” Sawatzky mentioned.
Luckily, the chlorine shortage will not be affecting Sawatsky pool owners nor visitors to North Mankato’s Spring Lake Park’s Public Swimming Pool, who use alternative methods, like chlorine gas, to keep the pools clean.
Duane Rader, water and parks superintendent of North Mankato, said, “As far as the chlorine gas and the things that we need for the pool, the chemicals we need, that won’t be affected at all.”