Another shortage is threatening to ruin summer (Picture: AFP)
Britain might be enjoying a rare heatwave, but don’t get excited if you’re planning on going for a dip to cool down.
If the shortage of ice cream flakes wasn’t bad enough, a shortage of chlorine is here to make summer that little bit worse.
Swimming pools across the country have been forced to close or operate on reduced timetables due to the lack of the chemical needed to run them.
Parents were being warned swimming lessons may be cancelled and pensioners were told to forget about aqua aerobics classes as a result.
The chlorine shortage has been blamed on many factors, including Brexit, a backlog from China’s supply chain caused by the pandemic, a fire in a US chemical plant in late 2020, and the war in Ukraine.
The pool at the Snowdome in Tamworth has been shut since Sunday while Leisure World in Colchester left customers disappointed by closing for a week earlier this month.
A number of leisure facilities have issued hygiene warnings because of the shortage, including showering before swimming, wearing a swimming hat and using the toilet before entering the pool.
Pools in York, Nuneaton, Southam and Stratford-Upon Avon said this would ‘prevent pollution reaching the pool’ and ‘reduce the amount of pool chemical needed’.
The shortages are being exacerbated by increasing costs, with the the price of a drum of chlorine rising from around £85-£100.
Some pools are said to be weighing up price-saving measures such as lowering pool temperatures and dimming lights as they feel the impact of the cost of living crisis.
Former Olympic gold medalist Duncan Goodhew, 65, urged the government to intervene to help struggling businesses stay afloat.
He told BBC R4’s Today Programme: ‘The health and wellbeing benefits of swimming stand way above other physical activity.
‘In terms of it’s benefit and costs to society, in health terms, is massive.’
The chlorine shortage comes amid a rare heatwave (Credits: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock)
Chris Hayes, director of the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association, blamed Covid outbreaks in China and worldwide supply issues on the UK’s temporary shortages of chlorine.
‘We are aware that some public pools have needed to close temporarily, and chemical suppliers will be working with these leisure facilities to look at other appropriate pool chemicals that can be used’, he said.
‘SPATA believes these issues will be short-term, but encourages leisure facilities to monitor the situation and work closely with their chemical supplier.’
It comes as parts of the UK sweltered in the hottest temperatures of the year for the second day running.
A high of 29.3°C was registered at Heathow and Kew Gardens in London on Thursday, surpassing the 28.2°C recorded at Kew on Wednesday.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.