Swimming pools in the UK are being forced to close their doors due to a chlorine shortage.
The Covid-19 pandemic and rising cost of living is all playing a part in the crisis.
A survey by UK Active has suggested that up to 79% of swimming pools in the UK could be forced to close their doors in the next six months if they are unable to access additional financial help.
The shortage has seen pools close already in Scotland, Suffolk and Tamworth.
The recent UK heatwave has only exacerbated the problem, as with more people visiting pools, more chlorine is required to meet the demand.
Here’s everything you need to know about the latest chlorine shortage.
Why is there a chlorine shortage?
There are a variety of reasons that have caused the perfect storm for this crisis.
The Covid-19 pandemic saw worldwide trade grind to a halt overnight. China is the leading manufacturer of chlorine and although production is once again up and running, it is still seeing a fall in supply versus demand.
The US is still recovering from a blaze at a chemical plant in 2020, which has slowed production in North America.
The war in Ukraine is also having an impact with supply issues, whilst Brexit has led to UK suppliers having to jump through additional hoops to import chlorine.
This has led to soaring prices for chlorine, which many UK pools cannot afford.
Swimming pools in the UK have seen costs double as the cost of living sees prices for electricity and heating rise significantly.
The recent UK heatwave has only made matters worse, with members of the public flocking to swimming pools to cool off.
With aditional people using pools, facilities are needing to use more chlorine, which is ramping costs up even higher.
A survey conducted by UK Active has suggested that up to 79% of public swimming pools may have to shut down in the next six months, if they are unable to get financial help.
What are pools asking people to do?
To combat the crisis, some swimming pools are asking swimmers to make some changes.
In an attempt to reduce the amount of chlorine needed, they are asking pool-goes to not wear deodorant, perfume or lotion before entering the pool.
They’ve requested that people shower before and after entering the water.
Pools are trying everything they can in a bid to keep down chlorine costs so they can ensure they stay open ahead of the busy summer season.
Where have pools had to close?
Swimming pools have been forced to close around the UK.
The Snowdome pool in Tamworth, facilities in Scotland and the Beccles Lido in Suffolk have all announced that they have had to close their doors.
Managing director of Beccles Lido, Shaun Crowley told the Beccles & Bungay Journal that they had struggled to meet the cost of rising chlorine prices, which have more than doubled.
He said: “We are getting by at the moment, we’ve got an emergency supply which is due to arrive next week, but the weather has been a bit of bad news for us.”