Experts say chlorine and lifeguards are in short supply

Updated: May. 28, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - You may be making plans to splash around in the pool during this unofficial start to summer this weekend, but there are a couple of factors that may impact those plans.

Chlorine is running low. The supply problem appears to be limited to chlorine tablets mostly used by smaller pools and private owners.

And before you dive into your weekend plans, you’ll want to make sure there’s a lifeguard on duty.

Glen Jacobson is the owner of swimming pool services in Hoover.

He says this could be the worst chlorine shortage we’ve ever seen. Jacobson says he’s selling record numbers of chlorine tabs. That’s because with any pandemic-era shortage people are stockpiling and hoarding supplies.

“We’ve been dealing with the chlorine shortage since approximately last August when Hurricane Laura went through Louisiana and burned a chemical plant. We are starting to limit some, just because of how much we sell and kind of seeing how much we have left at this point because we’re hearing that we won’t get any more this year,” Jacobson said.

In addition to the chlorine shortage, The YMCA says lifeguards are also in short supply.

“Everyone’s struggling to identify lifeguards. Some of them found different options or different opportunities, which is 100% what they should have done. And so, I think it’s just a matter of time, it’s gonna take creativity to getting people to come back,” Chief Operating Officer for the YMCA of Greater Birmingham, Jude Dooley.

Jacobson says now might be a good time to consider alternatives to chlorine for your pool, like salt systems.

And Dooley is encouraging anyone looking to become a certified lifeguard to contact the YMCA.

For more information on becoming a lifeguard with the YMCA, visit

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