The Cost of Chlorine

In Blog by Timothy Petsch

“A year after many public pools across the country shuttered due to the pandemic, some of them are being forced to close again thanks to the ongoing shortage of chlorine. Those that aren’t closing are warily keeping an eye on the rising cost of chlorine, which has nearly doubled in some places. “For the past 20 years, a typical 50-pound bucket of chlorine would run anywhere from $75 to $85,” a Las Vegas pool operator recently told CNBC. “Within the last year, it’s increased to $140, with the proposed price of $158 in the near future.”

From this online article that I found online, you can see that chlorine has increased in price by almost 150%!! Talk about hyperinflation hey?

Doing a little more digging I read that the demand for chlorine is increasing heavily in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. This is not good news for the commercial pool sector; in 2021 commercial pool operators were having to go to Big Box stores to buy chlorine in order to keep their pools open and their revenue streams open.

Pools are difficult enough to operate profitably, so the high price of chlorine and the unavailability of the product is not good news for the industry.

There is some good news as a large chlorine manufacturer in Louisiana opened up their manufacturing plant last month after a fire had almost destroyed the original. Good news for primarily residential pool owners as they manufacture TriChlor tabs there, which is a residential pool product and not often used in commercial pools, especially indoors.

So how can you, the commercial pool operator be ready for a potential shortage (“Poolmageddon” was summer of 2021) of chlorine this upcoming summer of ’23?

  • Ensure you have a strong relationship with your primary chlorine supplier
  • Find at least one or two “backup” suppliers
  • If you are using liquid chlorine, consider adding a backup Cal Hypo table feeder

Another option is to explore what the majority of new home pool owners are doing, and that is installing a chlorine generator which uses salt to manufacture chlorine in their pump rooms. Salt has been around for over 30 years and there are a number of viable commercial supplies across the country

After all, there is no shortage of salt.