Pandemic issues have made chlorine hard to find and costlier than ever.
If you own a swimming pool or work in the pool industry, you are undoubtedly aware that there is chlorine shortage, and that it’s getting more and more expensive. Since 2020, obvious parrels to allocating chlorine have been the surge in demand for backyard pool construction, labor and supply chain shortages, and global shipping delays. These obstacles, however, have been exacerbated by disasters at major production facilities, as well as health concerns yielding a recent proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban an essential chemical used exclusively to produce chlorine. Simply put, things are looking pretty bad for chlorine production. In this blog, learn about the lesser-known obstacles impacting the chlorine shortage, and how using a solar-powered pool cleaning robot can help.
Two disasters and a proposed chemical ban are not helping the situation.
Life has been rough for chlorine production over the last few years. In August 2020, Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana, setting fire to and destroying the largest chlorine production plant in the U.S. The plant, which was responsible for nearly 40 percent of the country’s total chlorine supply, has been partially rebuilt but will not begin operations again until January 2023. To worsen matters, in January 2022, a fire at a New Jersey facility destroyed over 100,000 pounds of chlorine tablets.
To add to the perfect storm, in April 2022, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed to ban chrysotile asbestos, the only known form of asbestos that has been prohibited in the U.S. since 1989. Asbestos has cancer-causing properties, and the EPA views the proposal as a historic step in protecting Americans from cancer risk. If put into effect, the act will halt at least one third of the nation’s total chlorine production. Chrysotile asbestos is used exclusively by the chlor-alkali industry, which utilizes asbestos diaphragms to produce chlorine. Driving the ban is the EPA’s concern for chlor-alkali worker exposure. The EPA proposes that the ten chlor-alkali plants in the U.S. using asbestos diaphragms to produce chlorine transition to a method that utilized membrane cells, a conversion that will require an investment of $1.8 billion. With production plants scrambling to convert operations, chlorine production will dramatically reduce, and its price will dramatically increase. Outside of the pool industry, numerous organizations object to the proposed ban as chlorine has countless uses beyond water disinfection. Learn more about the proposal via Service Industry News.
It’s difficult to ditch chlorine entirely, but Ariel makes using less far easier.
If your local pool supply source is out of chlorine tablets, or you find the price prohibitively expensive, reach out to your local pool professional for advice. From Pivot-Solar Breeze’s perspective, there’s really no good, quick and inexpensive disinfectant to replacement chlorine, and recommend that pool owners simply try to use less. When you ditch the net for our solar-powered pool skimming robot, Ariel, your pool will naturally consume less chlorine. Here’s how:
By the time debris sinks to the bottom of a pool, it has already decayed and begun creating bacteria. Removing debris from the surface of a pool prevents organic material from sinking and decaying, resulting in less algae and bacteria growth. When bacteria are not present in a pool, the need to chemically sanitize is reduced, resulting in chlorine and treatment savings. It’s also important to note that when chlorine interacts with organic material in pool water, the process actually renders the chlorine unavailable to disinfect. Any chlorine that’s leftover is what sanitizes the water. Sometimes, this forces pool owners to add more chemicals and attempt other fixes to keep the balance. Keep it simple with Ariel.