Chlorine shortage not expected to have much impact on public pools in the Valley

Chlorine shortage not expected to have much impact on public pools in the Valley
Gypsy Hill Park Pool is being cleaned and gearing up to open for the summer. (Source: WHSV)

STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - A chemical plant fire in Louisiana that happened last year is causing a shortage of chlorine tablets this summer.

The chlorine shortage is mostly impacting residential pools, so you can still expect to have good, clean fun at public pools, like the one at Gypsy Hill Park in Staunton, this summer.

“We try to get about two-thirds of the amount that we need for the entire summer at one time,” Staunton’s Superintendent of Recreation James Corbett said.

And Corbett said they didn’t have any issue getting their typical supply this year.

“Fortunately, we haven’t seen any adverse effects, maybe just a slight rise in prices of the chlorine tablets,” Corbett said.

Corbett said the price they paid this year was about 15 percent higher than normal.

Public pools, like Gypsy Hill Park and Montgomery Hall Park, do use more chlorine than a residential pool.

“We’re going to be on the higher end of the chlorine scale, as we want safety as far as sterilization, as far as the environment that the swimmers are in,” Corbett said.

And because they have an automated system that only takes specific chlorine tablets, they were thankful they didn’t have to worry about alternative methods due to the shortage.

“Obviously there’s powdered chlorine that you could use manually, we’re fortunate we have an automatic feed system. Everything’s automated here that we calibrate and check on a weekly basis,” Corbett said.

Waynesboro’s War Memorial Pool uses liquid chlorine, so they should also be set with enough to get them through the summer.

And pools’ capacity limits at Staunton’s parks are expected to help.

“Normally here on a busy day, we’ll have 300 to 350 swimmers. As of right now, we’re going to limit it to 130 a day here at Gypsy Hill and 30 at Montgomery Hall Park,” Corbett said. “So with the limited load, we’re going to consume less chlorine, so that’s another consideration why we have two months worth on hand just to see we may stretch a little farther than normal.”

Corbett says the pools will be well monitored and safe, and they’re looking forward to having everyone back this summer.

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