Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

Why a chlorine shortage is forcing swimming pools across the UK to close

Low production levels in China and Brexit bureaucracy are having knock-on effects for British swimmers

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

Now is certainly not the ideal time to be closing swimming pools in the UK. As we still try to get our heads around last weekend’s heatwave (and no doubt with many more on the way), swimming pools are an essential way to chill out and cool down.

And yet across the country, a chlorine shortage is causing pools to close. Chlorine is used in most swimming pools to kill germs and bacteria, and thereby stop people from getting ill.

So what’s to blame for the chlorine shortage? Well, there are loads of factors. For one, the Covid situation in China has caused a huge fall in production, while we’re still feeling the repercussions of a huge fire in a US chemical plant in 2020. On top of that, the Russia-Ukraine war is causing supply-chain issues, while Brexit has caused companies to have to navigate a load more bureaucratic red tape in order to import chlorine into the UK.

In short, it’s a bit of a perfect storm for the UK chlorine supply. Prices have shot up and pools, lidos and spas around the UK have already been forced to close. The likes of Tamworth’s Snowdome and pools in Beccles, Suffolk, have had to temporarily shut their doors – and many more could soon follow.

So what can be done about all this? Well, one thing we can all do as pool-goers is to reduce the amount of chlorine leisure centres need to use. Some pools are asking swimmers to avoid wearing deodorants, perfumes and lotions before entering the water and to properly shower beforehand. Oh, and obviously don’t piss and shit in the pool.

If we can do all that, swimmers can reduce the amount of chemicals needed in the water and so keeps pools open.

ICYMI: these are the English regions with the cleanest beaches in 2022.

Plus: here are the 33 best beaches in the UK according to us.

You may also like
You may also like