Pool season will look normal, despite chlorine shortages

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Schools are being let out and summer is on its way. It's the perfect time for a trip to the beach or even a community pool.

But will the most popular community pools reopen after almost two years?

“I know that when we weren’t able to open up Potawatomi last year it was tough on the community," Meghan Huff, the SBVPA Aquatics and Ice Manager said.

“With little kids going to parks, pools is a really great way for them to have fun and also a great thing to do as a family. It was a lot harder to do those things," Jimmy Bennett, a father of 2 said.

“We live down the street. That took away just a good part of just our summer plans," Amanda Kershner-Dehmlow said.

“It was a huge bummer,” Amanda's daughter, Aislinn Wetherall-Dehmlow, said.

Like many, pool days are a big part of Amanda and her daughter's summer plans.

"We probably go almost every day,"  Kershner-Dehmlow said.

“2 months out of 3 months of it," Wetherall-Dehmlow said.

Luckily this year, pools are opening back up!

"We had always planned to open. It’s a need our community wants," Huff said.

That's a big yes. And because of loosening covid restrictions, it'll most likely feel like a normal day at the pool.

"We don’t have restrictions this year on how many people we can have at each pool. We are trying to control it a little bit better where we have sessions. Both pools have a morning and an afternoon session," she said.

You’re not even going to need a pool noodle to measure social distancing and masks are only required for those not vaccinated yet.

The news... a welcome relief for many.

“I’m very excited honestly I love the pool and really want to go," Wetherall-Dehmlow said.

“I think it’s important to give people safe options so being outside at parks and pools so when they do have to mask and socially distance inside, they feel like they can do that," Bennett said.

“I think it’s just nice for them to be able to be out because last year we didn’t know what was safe and we know chlorine is safe. We only have one that is not able to be vaccinated. It’s nice she has that option, somewhere to move her body, be in the sunshine, do something besides sit in the yard," Kershner-Dehmlow said. "It’s hopeful it feels like childhood is resuming.”

Despite some community parks reopening, there has been a chlorine shortage affected many states. 

With pools season coming up, chlorine is in short supply. But not for the reason you may think.

Zachary Carr, the Commercial Sales Director for Leisure Pool and Spa in Syracuse, Indiana deals with both commercial and residential clients.

He said they are seeing a chlorine tablet shortage across the country.

"What we’re seeing chlorine tablets the main tablets that you see in outdoor pools using, stabilized chlorine, we’re seeing a shortage on that because of a plastic shortage going on also a factory down in texas," Carr said.

"So the chlorine we use at our pools is fully stocked for this season. It sounds like there is a different kind of chlorine shortage but what we need for our pool – it’s fully stocked and ready to go," Huff said.

Carr said the reason local community pools aren’t as affected is that these chlorine tablets are mostly used in residential - both home and apartment complex pools.

So there’s no reason public pools like this will be closed due to the shortage.

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