‘I was shocked’: Nationwide chlorine shortage causing prices to surge in Grand Strand

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 9:42 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As summer approaches, now is the time for many to start prepping their pools to keep cool.

However, many pool owners may find themselves spending more than usual to clean it this season.

Currently, there’s a nationwide chlorine shortage, specifically with chlorine tablets.

Staff at Graves Pools and Spas in Myrtle Beach said they’re already seeing prices increase.

“It’s already been a more than 30% increase in price and it’s projected to be a 60% increase before the summer’s over,” Zackary Bryant aka Radar, the operations manager, said.

Radar said several factors have caused the scarce supply.

Last fall, one of the country’s largest chemical plants to produce trichlor tablets caught fire in Louisiana. That’s on top of the pandemic slowing down production and a high demand for swimming pools.

“Right now we have a good stock, but we don’t know when we will get restocked,” he said.

“When I went to buy my chlorine last month it had gone up to $112,” resident Roseann Miller said. “I was shocked. I looked at it and said what happened.”

Miller said last year she paid $93.

Another pool owner said this year he paid $104 for a 25-pound container of tablets. Last year, a 50-pound container cost him $98.

For those who can’t get their hands on the tablets, there are some alternatives.

Residents can convert their pool to a saltwater pool, which depending on the size, Radar said could cost between $1,500 to $2,500.

A less expensive choice is liquid chlorine, an option Miller said she’s considering if supply runs out.

“This [pool] is my life. I made this backyard. I’m not a well person and this is my oasis so I’ve got to have this,” Miller said.

Radar said they’ve had to streamline their products because of the shortage.

Instead of a variety of tub sizes and tablet shapes in stock, pool owners will only be able to pick up a 25-pound container of 3-inch tablets.

Radar said the chemical plant, which produces 60% of chlorine tablets, isn’t expected to be back up and running until 2022.

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