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Chlorine shortage could make for a difficult summer

Photo of an Indy pool. (WISH photo)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WISH) — An industry-wide chlorine shortage has resulted in higher prices of sanitizing tablets. It’s the result from a fire at a chemical plant in Louisiana that was damaged in a hurricane in August.

Indy Parks and Recreation doesn’t use sanitizing tablets, which could be more difficult for pool owners to buy. They use liquid chlorine but the cost of that seems to have increased as well.

The agency is opening 10 pools this summer, which includes eight outdoor and two indoor. This year they plan to use more than 35,000 gallons of liquid chlorine for indoor and outdoor pools as well as the splash pads. This will cost more than $64,000. In 2019, for the summer pools, they spent more than $47,000 on chlorine. That does not include the cost of chlorine for the indoor pools and splash pads.

“Every person that jumps in introduces contaminants, nitrates, sweat, laundry detergent, dirt from their shoes and their feet into the pool and so it takes a lot of chlorine to be able to combat that to maintain pools in a healthy, safe level for swimming,” Indy Parks and Recreation Senior Manager of Aquatics and Staff Development Jennifer Stoneking said.

News 8 reached out to Leslie’s Pool Supplies. Spokesperson Tracy Dick says the chlorine market as a whole is experiencing heightened demand and decreased supply this summer. This will cause the price of chlorine to continue to increase. While the company says they’re well stocked with inventory, they say the shortage may impact the entire summer season. They’re encouraging customers to purchase products they need just for the season. Plus, the company is asking customers to consider other sanitzation options such as salt, liquid chlorine or shock instead of tablets.

Indy Parks and Recreation says all of the pools will be at 50% capacity limit. As of now, they’re asking people to wear a mask when not in the water.

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