LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Summer pool season may be in jeopardy! It's nearly summer in Southern Nevada, but there's potentially a big pool problem...not enough chlorine to clean them!
Right now, there's a nationwide chlorine shortage with no immediate end in sight. Chlorine tablets have been in high demand since one of the country's primary production plants burned down last year in Louisiana.
"It's been absolutely ridiculous, really over the past year or year and a half!" said Dave Rubinson, owner of Dave Rubinson Pools, LLC.
Rubinson has been in business, sanitizing and servicing pools in the valley, for more than two decades. He says he's never seen a chlorine shortage like this.
"Right now, the wholesaler where I buy doesn't have any. Each one of their branches, and there's five or six branches here in town, every one of them has a large order waiting to be filled," said Rubinson.
Rubinson saw the writing on the wall this winter and has been stockpiling ever since. But the 100 buckets he's saved up only guarantees he'll be able to continue cleaning for his 300 clients for another two months.
"It's a concern. If they don't start stocking up before I start to run low, it's going to be a problem," said Rubinson.
It's the same problem at Pacific Pool & Spa Supply, where manager Sajib Saha says chlorine prices continue to rise.
"I used to buy a pallet last year with 24 buckets on a pallet. But this year, our distributor said, 'We will only sell you four buckets a day.' So, it's pretty hard," said Saha. "This year, prices are going crazy, tremendously, because all the distributors raise the prices every week. It affects homeowners as well because if they want to come in, they used to buy a 50 lb. bucket for $110/$120, now it's $180/$190. And I told them it's better to keep some in stock to enter summer, otherwise prices will go insane every month."
Now, those rising prices are being passed down to pool owners.
"In April, I raised my price to hopefully compensate for it. And we don't even know where it's going to end, as far as the price going up," said Rubinson.
It's not all bad news. Chlorine tablets are primarily used for private pools. The larger community pools and those you see at resorts on the strip are mostly treated with liquid chlorine and there's no sign of a shortage of that just yet.
"Stadium Swim maintains the most advanced pool filtration technology in Las Vegas with full water recirculation occurring 6x faster than code. Stadium Swim’s automated chemical dispense system instantly adjusts water chemistry throughout the day and requires liquid chlorine. The supply shortage is specific to tablet chlorine and will not affect pool operations, however, we continue to monitor all supply shortages closely," a representative from Circa tells 13 Action News.
"Our local chlorine vendor tells us that the current chlorine shortage affects only dry chlorine tablet production at this time. Clark County uses liquid chlorine and according to our vendor, they have enough liquid chlorine on-site to supply us so that our swimming pool operations & sanitization will remain unaffected," said a Clark County representative who oversees a number of public pools.
Officials with the City of Las Vegas also said they are not suffering from the current chlorine shortage.