Another pandemic shortage: Chlorine

Local News

NORTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – The pandemic may be causing a new shortage and this one could possibly put a damper on your summer.

One northern Utah business is taking steps to make sure its customers have access to the products they need during the chlorine shortage.

At Bullfrog Spas in North Ogden, business didn’t slow down as the pandemic ramped up. As people began spending more time at home, they looked for more ways to stay entertained. Many people turned to hot tubs. However, as business boomed, a nationwide shortage in the chemicals needed to keep all those hot tubs clean began.

“We normally make [shortages] up by importing product,” explains Bullfrog Spas of Northern Utah owner Shawn Maynard. “That’s not happening. Our domestic production is reduced by at least 40% and now we have demand through the roof.”

The chlorine shortage hit Maynard’s business months ago after a hurricane caused a fire that destroyed a major chlorine factory in Louisiana. Then, as people stayed home during the pandemic, the demand for spa supplies grew drastically. Even now, that demand is increasing.

“We’re seeing the urgency of the day as the country is opening their pools and needing chlorine to open their pools in large quantities. Now they’re seeing the real shortages,” explains Maynard. He told ABC4 spa and pool supplies have increased in price by about 10% over the last few weeks.

Maynard and his team knew the shortage would only get worse with time. They purchased chlorine, and other spa necessities, in bulk to prepare for the upcoming summer.

Right now, customers are limited in how much chlorine, and other cleaning products, they can buy at one time at Bullfrog Spas. However, there’s a good reason for that. “Our goal is to have product on-hand for our customers for the season,” Maynard states.

The shortage doesn’t end at chlorine and other cleaning chemicals. When a severe winter storm hit Texas earlier this year, many petroleum plants stopped producing products like plastic beads. Those beads are used to make many components in Bullfrog Spas’ hot tubs and pools.

Maynard told ABC4 that with the added shortage in plastic products and the increase in demand for hot tubs, customers have to be put on waiting lists that can be months long.

Dolphin Pools and Spas, which works with large pools, also spoke to ABC4 about the chlorine shortage.

A representative for the company says they started having problems getting one-inch chlorine tablets last spring. They, like Maynard and his team, were able to plan ahead and buy enough product to hopefully last the summer.

They haven’t put a sale limit on any items yet, but they are asking customers to be considerate and only buy the supplies they need and not buy in bulk.

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