The United States is currently facing a chlorine shortage. The shortage is a result in part to supply chain issues introduced by COVID-19 and the destruction of a major chlorine manufacturing plant in Louisiana which produced nearly 40% of the United States’ chlorine tablet supply.
This has made pool maintenance difficult for swimming pools across the country. This disruption has resulted in many pools being closed or operating with low levels of chlorine. The chlorine shortage might be difficult to deal with but don't give up hope for a swim season!
Chlorine Tablet Alternatives
Chlorine tablets are the most popular form of chlorine for pools because they are inexpensive, easy to use, and they don’t require any additional equipment. However, there are chemical alternatives to chlorine tablets that can be used.
|* Generally less expensive than chlorine tablets.
|* More difficult to administer compared to chlorine tablets
|3 parts per million
|* Similar in behavior to chlorine tablets
* Stronger than chlorine
|* More expensive than chlorine
* Requires more product for the same result
* Has a strong odor
* Can cause issues for people with sensitive skin
* Generally degrades faster than chlorine
|3-5 parts per million
|Liquid Bleach w/o Additives
|* Easy to find
|* Requires much more product for the same result
* More difficult to administer compared to chlorine tablets
|3 parts per million
Of the alternatives, Poolhop recommends using liquid chlorine as it is similar to your normal routine, it is generally more effective than household bleach, and not as irritating or foul-smelling as bromine.
Testing More Frequently
It is generally a good idea to test your pool water frequently. It it is cheaper over time as it requires less chemical product to maintain levels versus correcting a problem caused by neglect. If you do decide to use one of the alternatives listed above, you'll want to test the water more frequently, ideally every day or every other day. This is because its different from your normal routine and the chemicals could degrade at different rates than what you are used to. For example, bromine degrades more quickly when exposed to U/V.