Philadelphia pool retailers scramble to survive with chlorine shortage

A backyard pool.
A backyard pool. Photo credit Chiyacat/Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Tough times have come for many in the pool sales industry. Some Philadelphia-area pool retailers are facing shortages of a number of things needed to keep things afloat.

COVID-19-related demand, plus the loss of a hurricane-ravaged chlorine warehouse in Louisiana, have helped bring on a shortage of the pool maintenance chemical nationwide, according to Bob Holt with Aquavita Pools in Delaware County.

Holt said they have been given monthly chlorine rations.

"The distributors and packagers of chlorine are scrambling to find another
source," he said.

Chlorine is used to prevent algae, as well as to keep swimmers safe from illnesses contracted in the water.

Social distancing and COVID-19 quarantines helped Holt see his highest demand in decades for above-ground pools, but he said the industry ran into another shortage.

"We sold a number of pools last fall, early spring, and now our manufacturers notified us to stop taking orders. We cannot get liners. We cannot get parts," he detailed.

He added that their problems do not end with the supplies. Workers are also in high demand.

"The other issue we're facing is a shortage of help," said Holt.

Holt admitted that right now, his stores and the industry are in limbo as they try to figure out their next step.

"We don't know the impact it's going to have by the end of the season," said Holt.

"We don't know if things will change by the Fourth of July or become worse. We really don't know the affect on the bottom line, yet."