Chlorine shortage may force Brighton and Hove swimming pools to close

Posted On 27 May 2022 at 10:59 am

A national chlorine shortage may force swimming and paddling pools in Brighton and Hove to close temporarily.

One of the paddling pools, near the i360 on Brighton seafront, is currently closed and would need staff to “super chlorinate” it before it could open.

Others may close within days or weeks.

No deliveries are expected for at least three weeks, with supplies likely to be scarce until July at the earliest.

Brighton and Hove City Council said today (Friday 27 May): “All over the country, local authorities are faced with having to temporarily close paddling and swimming pools as the supply of chlorine runs out.

“Supply chain difficulties and shortages are being experienced due to global production issues and a temporary closure of a factory that produces 80 per cent of the UK’s chlorine, so it may be some time before deliveries of chlorine return to normal.

“Freedom Leisure, which is contracted to run the city’s swimming and paddling pools, is providing regular updates on the challenges they, and many other pool operators, are facing as national chlorine supplies deplete.

“Together we are working hard to ensure we have sufficient chlorine to keep the city’s swimming pools and paddling pools safely open.

“Chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) is used as a disinfectant at swimming and paddling pools across the city including

  • King Alfred Leisure Centre
  • Prince Regent Swimming Complex
  • St Luke’s Swimming Pool
  • Hove Lagoon Paddling Pool
  • The Level Water Fountains
  • Saunders Park Paddling Pool
  • King’s Road Paddling Pool

“Chlorine available will be prioritised for the city’s main pool facilities at the Prince Regent and King Alfred so they can be kept open for schools swimming, learn to swim lessons, public and club swimming for as long as possible.

“Swimmers can help to keep the pool water as clean as possible by showering before swimming. Showers can help to reduce the majority of pollutants added to the pool by swimmers which means less chlorine will be needed.”

Councillor Martin Osborne, who co-chairs the council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “We understand that closing our paddling and swimming pools will have a huge impact on our residents and visitors, particularly during the summer months, but without an adequate supply of chlorine, we cannot safely operate these facilities.

“We will do everything we can to keep our pools open for as long as possible but, like many other authorities across the country, it looks likely that there may be significant closures.”

Chris Henry

Labour councillor Chris Henry said: “It beggars belief that the Green administration has sleep-walked into another situation that could have been avoided with a little thought and pre-planning.

“Just like with their inability to look for a non-toxic solution to weed removal each year, they must have known about this looming shortage since 2020.

“Yet suddenly thousands of swimmers and youngsters learning across the city will see their pool closed.

“It’s another example of how they don’t seem to care about the basics of running a city. Why has no one sought alternatives to chlorine such as calcium-based chlorine tablets that are on the market and are in very good supply?”

One Green said that calcium-based chlorine tablets were also in short supply, citing a recent story on the Guardian news websitea recent story on the Guardian news website, blaming among other things, “the Brexit deal his employer (Hove MP Peter Kyle) voted for”.

The council added: “Regular updates and details of any planned closures will be posted at the leisure centres and paddling pools and on the Freedom Leisure and council websites.”

  1. Linda Jameson Reply

    The chlorine shortage seems to be a problem caused by the dodgy Brexit deal which your boss Peter Kyle voted for so maybe look closer to home for the blame Chris Henry

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