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The Challenges of Pool Ownership During a Global Pandemic

If there’s one thing living through a global pandemic has taught people, it’s to expect the unexpected, including not being able to find and acquire commonly available goods and services (toilet paper shortages, anyone?). Many American pool owners have experienced a similar situation recently, with a nationwide shortage of chlorine tablets that are used to keep commercial and backyard pools algae- and bacteria-free. Pool companies in Sarasota have had many inquiries about this issue, and have been working to help Florida homeowners find ways to keep their pools clean and safe for swimming.


Some Background

On the one hand, having a pool during a time when so many people were confined to home was a huge benefit – a way to have fun and get exercise while still in the safety of one’s own property. In fact, pool builders in Naples and Sarasota (and other parts of the country) were busy in 2020; around 96,000 new pools were built in the United States, a 23% increase from 2019. However, all these new pools also created an increased demand for chlorine.


At the same time, the primary manufacturer of chlorine tablets in the U.S. experienced a huge fire at their facility in August 2020, which shut down production and greatly reduced the supply of chlorine nationwide.


Alternatives to Chlorine Tablets

With the increased demand for chlorine from newly built pools, and the supply shortage in the U.S. from the fire at the manufacturer, many public and private pool owners have struggled to keep their pools clean and safe for swimming.


Some pool owners have been able to find chlorine tablets, but at twice the cost for half the amount. Other homeowners, unable to find adequate chlorine, have watched their backyard pools slowly turn bright green from an overgrowth of algae, powerless to fight back. Some have been forced to drain their entire pool, scrub it and start again from scratch with new water.


One alternative to chlorine tablets is liquid chlorine, although this is what municipal and commercial pools often use. The increased homeowner demand for liquid chlorine has lessened the supply for public pools, forcing many to shut down or delay opening by weeks, due to lack of supply.


Other alternatives include adding chemicals like borate, which prevents algae, or building a saltwater pool, whose filtration system uses electricity to generate chlorine. Savvy pool owners have considered retrofitting their chlorinated pool to a saltwater pool. A residential pool service in Sarasota or Naples can provide a quote to complete this conversion.


Let the Professionals Handle It

Without clear, clean water, pools can become cloudy, which poses a health risk to anyone swimming in them, as well as a drowning risk, as someone may fall in and not be visible underwater, or swimmers may not be able to see clearly underwater, become disoriented and unable to find the surface.


To avoid these dangers and maintain healthy, swimmable pools, Naples and Sarasota pool owners should contact a residential pool service. Whether it’s to retrofit a traditional pool to become a saltwater pool, or to find adequate pool cleaning chemicals, commercial and private pool owners who are tired of struggling to keep their pools clean can contact pool companies in Sarasota to help them keep their pools well-maintained and safe for their customers and families.