Chlorine shortage hits Lincoln; alternatives becoming available

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 8:42 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Over the course of the pandemic pools have been in high demand, but chlorine has become the commodity that’s hard to get.

In August 2020 a biolab in Louisiana that produces the chlorine Trichlor burned in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. This caused a shortage for an industry already in high demand.

Owner of Lincoln’s Supreme Spa & Pool, Rob Hobelman, said this has caused a spike in the price of chlorine and vendors have limited him to purchasing the same amount as 2020.

Hobelman said his store doesn’t normally recommend chlorine to residential customers anymore.

“We also have an alternative to chlorine, which is our Natures Pure System, which is very low in chlorine, so we’re not using such a high residual chlorine. That way we can keep our chlorine for commercial customers that are required to use chlorine,” said Hobelman.

Hobelman added that the alternatives shouldn’t see a shortage similar to chlorine, but with a higher demand does come higher prices for the substitutes.

Since the pandemic began, pools have been selling fast. Hobelman said pool sales in Lincoln have increased by 250% in the last year.

He said the store would normally sell 200 pools in a year, last year he sold more than 800. He credits the pandemic for this increase in sales.

“I think people staying at home. Pools were closed last year, vacations were closed, cruises were closed. There’s been a huge demand for pools in the last year and this year,” said Hobelman.

He said when they sell these new pools that customers are switched to the Natures Pure System with less chlorine. If you already have a pool these alternatives are options, but may be more expensive.

Lincoln Parks and Rec said at this point in time they have not been affected by the chlorine shortage. All community pools will be stocked to begin the pool season.

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