What should pool owners do about the chlorine shortage?

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HILTON, N.Y. (WHEC) — Summer is approaching, and if you have a pool to keep you cool, a chlorine shortage might make it difficult to keep it clean and clear. Experts say this is the worst chlorine shortage in a century.

The shortage comes after a major hurricane swept through Louisiana last year. It sparked a fire inside one of the largest chlorine plants in the country.

"We should have enough for the whole summer but it was just a shocker that all the sudden we can’t get any chlorine,” Mark Reynolds said inside the Pettis Pools in Hilton.

Pool owners are jumping into their season early, trying to buy what’s left of certain chlorine products.

“That fire caused a loss of 90 million pounds of chlorine so the basic three-inch tablets that people are familiar with is what has that large shortage right now,” Zach Lynch said, the retail manager for Pettis Pools and Patio.

Reynolds says he’s been picking up one inch tablets of standard chlorine, 3-inch tablets that he would usually try to get are out of stock, he says when things like this happen people panic.

"I thought it was going to be like the toilet paper thing again and we’re going to run out so my wife texted me and said we need to get on this chlorine thing for the summer so we should be ok but I wanted to stop by here but obviously the shelves are empty here too,” Reynolds said.

If you haven’t set out for pool care yet, don’t worry, there are other chlorine alternatives like salt systems, liquid chlorine, and even some non-chlorine products that could get you through the season.

"I think what panics people is they want to stick with what they know and just know these alternatives work just as well and the non-stabilized tablets are new technology and are more developed than the old school style,” Lynch added.

If you have some leftover chlorine from last year or plan to make what you have now last longer, experts say you can shower before swimming or run filters longer to keep the water circulating.