PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A nationwide chlorine shortage is being felt across South Florida causing consumers to stock up at supply stores.
"We remain busy really all the time but today was just incredible," said Morningside Pools manager Fiona DeTura. "We had a line out the door for a good part of the day."
DeTura said chlorine tablets specifically are hard to come by.
"It really started when Hurricane Laura, I believe, the explosion in Louisiana was a tablet factory where they make all the tablets," said DeTura.
Adding to the frustration is the pandemic.
"Of course, it's just been a ripple effect with COVID," said DeTura. "The factories closed down obviously when COVID began."
Now, stores and cleaning services like are having to raise prices to compensate.
"Prices have gone up, you know, just the last few years prices have been going up," said Quiet Pools Maintenance Inc. owner Donnie Mahuron.
Mahuron said the supply of liquid chlorine remains at a surplus but that prices are starting to rise.
"I'd say they're about 20%, maybe 30%, higher than what they were in recent years," said Mahuron.
The alternative option is a salt generator, typically costing between $800-$2000.
Mahuron said he sees the demand lasting through the summer.
"People may be stockpiling tablets, but the suppliers are limiting how many you can buy," he said.