SAN ANTONIO – A halt in production at one of a few chemical plants in the U.S. that produce chlorine used in pools is causing prices to climb. San Antonio pool experts say there’s no shortage, but the limited availability is costing them and customers more.
Brian Phipps, the owner of Pool Professor, says those in the industry have been seeing a steady increase in prices for supplies used to sanitize pools since last August, but now that warmer weather is around the corner, he says pool owners are getting wind of it.
“Since this has come up, I’ve had three clients call us about a possible shortage,” he said.
Phipps wants to ward off any talks about a shortage that could cause a panic and lead to prices climbing.
“There was really no toilet paper shortage. There was no paper towel shortage. We created it, and we panicked, and we bought way too much,” he said, reminiscing of last year. “I truly believe that there’s definitely less (chlorine supply) than there usually is this time of year. But there’s still enough to go around.”
Andre Montwill, the owner of Alamo Heights Pool House, says prices have doubled for buckets of chlorine tablets. The customers are now taking on the costs associated with the price hike.
“We tried to absorb some of those costs, but it’s just too crazy now. What used to cost us $40, it’s costing us $80. And so we have to pass that on reluctantly,” Montwill said.
Montwill also says there are enough supplies for their customers, but the company will be paying more for it. He says there are alternatives customers can explore, but they, too, will be an investment. One option is purchasing pool salt.
Not maintaining the pool could lead to bigger issues down the line, Montwill says.
“They need to get liquid chlorine, some kind of chlorine to keep that the pool from turning green, because if we don’t do that, we’ll have a bigger problem. We’ll have mosquitoes. You’ll have larva. You’ll have that kind of situation going on in your backyard, which you don’t want. The health department doesn’t want that either,” he said.
Montwill said the need for chlorine in the water goes up as the temperatures rise.