COVENTRY, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders may not be able to find what they typically use to open their pools this year.
Pool & Patio Center Operations Manager Joe Stockley tells 12 News while there’s currently a chlorine tablet shortage, there are other products available to keep pools clean and safe this summer.
“If you’re willing to change up your routine slightly or try something new, we’ll always have something available if you can’t find those tablets,” Stockley said.
Stockley said the shortage pertains particularly to the tablet form, so if pool owners don’t want to deviate, there are other products that contain chlorine and are just as effective.
“There are many other options, with respects of kinds of chlorine, to keep your pools clean, safe and sanitary,” Stockley said.
“There’s salt-based systems, which are just chlorine production plants that you can put on your pool,” he continued. “Instead of having to buy chlorine separately, you’re making the chlorine for your pool via a salt system.”
There also options for pool owners who may want to try another chemical to lessen their chlorine usage.
“There are natural borate products we can use that can reduce your chlorine necessity or your chlorine usage by up to 50% or 60%,” Stockley explained.
One of the main reasons for the tablet shortage, according to Stockley, was a fire that destroyed a chlorine manufacturing plant last year.
“That particular factory was responsible for the manufacturing of the raw materials that go into chlorine tablet production,” Stockley said.
Due to the shortage, Stockley said supply stores like Pool & Patio are only allowed to purchase a certain amount of chlorine tablets each month, which is making them hard to come by.
Stockley also believes the uptick in people purchasing and installing pools throughout the pandemic has also attributed to the shortage. He said it’s “a demand we’ve never seen before.”
“That new water, and those new pools that were installed last year, obviously need to be maintained,” he said.
Stockley urged customers not to buy the tablets in bulk, especially since his store has already sold out of its May allotment.
“Get what you need for a couple weeks, or a month or so, and then come back and resupply,” he advised.
Stockley said his store will be receiving a shipment of chlorine tablets later this week and in the coming months.