SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) —A driver shortage for chlorine deliveries is the cause for the recent closures and re-openings of multiple pools in the city of Syracuse.
According to Julie LaFave, city of Syracuse commissioner of parks, recreation and youth programs, the city’s chlorine supplier has chlorine available but is experiencing a shortage of drivers to deliver the supplies. A staffing issue many businesses face during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city had seven pools open this summer and closed them all at the beginning of August due to not receiving a chlorine delivery. Since the closure, it has been able to re-open four: Kirk Park Pool, Onondaga Park Pool, Schiller Park Pool, and Thornden Park Pool.
Each pool goes through nearly 50 gallons of chlorine a day, and as temperatures rise, the pools require even more.
The city needs to have chlorine delivered to the pools every four to eight days before it is considered contaminated. The supplier provides the chlorine and enlists a certified driver that can handle hazardous material to deliver it.
The chlorine cannot be stored and saved for the city to prepare if a delivery issue occurs.
“We’re at the mercy of our suppliers,” said LaFave.
According to LaFave, many other Central New York pools place orders with the city’s supplier leaving the supply depleted when it arrives. In addition, the order is received with less chlorine, leading to the city deciding to close pools.
LaFave said the city is open to using a salt-water alternative to chlorine but will need to conduct more research before relinquishing full use of chlorine. Among the challenges, the city has used spray features with water sprinklers at the city parks, which have remained operational to help during the heat.
Syracuse Pools will close at the end of the week as fall approaches for students beginning school. LaFave hopes that when pools re-open, all pools will be open with chlorine included, ready for their return next summer.