Water park officials concerned about expected chlorine shortage this summer


NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) — The water in the huge pool at Ocean Beach Park in New London has now been emptied out and crews are cleaning off almost two years worth of algae. The pool never reopened last year during the pandemic.

“So the water hasn’t really been filtered that much, it hasn’t been chlorinated. Algae’s had a field day,” said David Sugrue who runs Ocean Beach Park.

Crews are attacking the algae so the pool can reopen by Memorial Day weekend.  

“Pressure washing, hitting it with heavy doses of chlorine, and killing it down,” said Sugrue. “We’ll fill the pool back up. We’ll be ready to go.”

Ready to go because Ocean Beach Park already has about a month and a half supply of chlorine left over from last year when the pool never reopened. 

RELATED: As summer approaches, pool owners may face chlorine shortage

But there is concern because of a fire at a chlorine plant in Louisiana last August. That’s being blamed on a shortage in the pool cleaning tablets expected this summer along with some sticker shock. Already astronomical prices are being seen online. 

“We’ve learned if anything else during this pandemic that our supply chain is pretty fragile,” said Sugrue. “Toilet paper last year. Chlorine this year.”

Pool experts have these tips before taking the plunge into a pool.

  • Make sure water looks clean and clear
  • Make sure public pools are inspected by a city or town official
  • Consider chlorine alternatives like salt water and UV systems or mineral packs
  • Do routine maintenance on filtration and water circulation systems
  • Shower before swimming and don’t let pets in pool
  • A dog is equivalent to 50 people swimming a pool in terms of debris in the water

While some residential pools may be able to switch over to a saltwater system they cannot do that at Ocean Beach Park. That pool is filled with 550,000 gallons of water so they really need chlorine to adequately keep in clean.

The daily cost is about $200 a day at normal chlorine prices.

“We probably use at least 75 pounds of chlorine a day quite a bit,” said Sugrue.

With prices on the rise and chlorine in short supply, Ocean Beach Park is in touch with other amusement and water parks to try to see if they can come up with a solution together.

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