Iowans with a private pool or hot tub who have leftover chlorine disinfectant from last year are lucky.
An explosion last fall at a plant in Louisiana destroyed 1.5 million pounds of chlorine and Iowa Parks and Recreation Association CEO Steven Jordison says that has caused the price of chlorine tablets to spike this year.
“I think that the realization is that because pools are now opening up for the spring, summer and fall season, reality has now set in from the incident that happened last fall,” Jordison says.
There are two other factors driving up demand for chlorine tablets. Jodison says an estimated 300 swimming pools impacted by the February storm that struck Texas are being replaced, repaired and refilled, plus the number of backyard pools rose dramatically due to the pandemic.
“If you still have chlorine from last year and it is a triclor or diclor and there are going to be different street names for this whether you go to a Menard’s, a Walmart, a Target, a Lowes, a Thiessens — whatever your local retailer might be — they’ll have different names for that chlorine. It will have a stabilizer in it, so if it’s granular, it’s safe,” Jordison says. “You can still use that chemical that you’ve got to get going to start with the season.”
If hoarding becomes an issue with the pellets or tablets of chlorine that are used in private pools and hot tubs, Jordison says be careful if you buy online.
“Make sure exactly what you’re getting, the strength that you’re getting and how quickly they’re going to be able to flip it for you to be able to receive,” Jordison says.
Some people with their own pool or hot tub use systems that convert salt into chlorine. Pools owned and operated by cities, hotels, home owners associations and recreation facilities use a different kind of liquid chlorine disinfectant and Jordison says it is not made at the plant in Louisiana that was damaged last fall.