The boost in residential pool sales and service is welcome but unexpected. Having pool stores, service companies, and builders declared ‘Essential’ in all states took quite a bit of work, but we (A collaboration of trade associations, Facebook groups, and countless individuals) tackled legislation and set them straight. When it looked like the pool industry might make it through 2020 unscathed, the unthinkable happens. A pool chlorine fire at Biolab.
Hurricane Laura came barreling into Westlake Louisiana as a Cat 4, tearing down trees, buildings, and power lines. The BioLab factory, although evacuated, did not stand a chance. At some time during the storm, the factory housing over 800 tons (Reuters) of trichlor (trichloro-s-triazinetrione) began to burn.
BioLab, owned by Canadian-based KIK Corporation, produces the lion’s share of Chlorine Tablets (trichlor) used for swimming pool care in the United States.
Pool supply distributors have in stock what they have in inventory and for quantity, on hand, the pricing has remained unchanged. However, news of the destruction of a significant portion of the countries supply has spread quickly, sending pool service companies scrambling to stock up on all that they can. There are reports that some distribution centers have begun to enforce quantity limits as low as a two bucket maximum.
KIK products include Clorox (pool & spa products), BioGaurd, Prestone, and Comet
Luckily this has occurred at the end of the swimming season for most, with pool closings in many areas beginning as early as mi-August. This is little comfort for those in areas with a year-round season (California, Southwest, and Southeast).
Rumors of impending price increases are running rampant across social media, with some suggesting hikes of up to twenty-five to thirty percent on wholesale cost. If this occurs, companies will have no choice but to account for that difference in the service fee to homeowners that they charge, and rightfully so. I can’t imagine this will be well received.
In 2004 a pool chlorine fire broke out at the BioLab warehouse in Conyers, GA
Could pool service companies face outages and restrictions on chlorine tablet purchases similar to the toilet paper limits the nation faced in early March? I certainly hope not. When is this massive price increase expected to begin? Word on the street it could occur as soon as today.
Personally, for everyone’s sake, I pray the impact on our livelihood is far less than folks are predicting. We are all in this together and don’t want to see anyone’s business take a hit. Please let us know in the comments below what you see out there.
?? Let’s Just Hope the Impact of the Fire on Cost is Just a Vicious Rumor
NOTE: I do currently have a request for a statement with Pool Corp’s & KIK Custom Products PR departments regarding a potential increase in price due to shortage. I will update this article as I receive responses from each.
The local distribution center that I had always used had this to say ‘No news as of this morning. Prices are still the same. We have not heard anything about increasing prices yet from our corporate office’.
- Are you limited to the amounts you can purchase?
- Have you had a massive jump in cost?
- Have you run into a distributor that out of stock?
Godspeed to our friends at BioLab