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Newcastle pools risk closure amid chlorine shortage – BBC

Swimming pools face having to close because of a shortage of chemicals needed to chlorinate the water.
One – Elswick Pool in Newcastle – said it came within hours of running out.
Senior manager Phil Jameson said it had got to a point that "if we hadn't had the delivery on the Monday we would have been shut on Tuesday".
Chemical distribution firm Brenntag said the war in Ukraine had added to the "very challenging conditions" already caused by Covid and Brexit.
The company said container and labour shortages, the Suez canal blockage and increasing energy prices had led to "severe disruptions" in global supply chains.
This had resulted in highly volatile prices and hugely increased costs for raw materials and transport, it said.
Mr Jameson said the shortage of chemicals meant Elswick Pool was unable to plan long-term.
"We ordered in November and have been told they'll not get any until May – and this is one of the biggest chemical distributors in the country," he said.
"Chlorine has nearly doubled in price because there's such demand for it."
Calcium hypochlorite, which is used to disinfect the water, comes in liquid, granular or briquette form but some sites can only use one variety.
Mr Jameson said he had to use a number of different suppliers to get the amount he needed.
At one point his usual company had only "two containers left in the whole of the North East", he said.
Phil Drape, operations manager at Jesmond Pool, said he was able to use any form of the chemical and, since the site was now community-owned and not tied to a council supplier, he could "buy it from whoever we want".
But it cost double to buy in smaller, ad hoc quantities than in the usual 1,000 litre batches, he said.
Both managers said being single-site, charity-run pools left them at a disadvantage compared to councils or companies with a lot of pools which had the "clout" to put pressure on suppliers.
However, Hartlepool Council had the same problem with its Mill House leisure centre pool, which had to close for a week due to the shortage of calcium hypochlorite.
The council said a number of other pools in the region had also been forced to shut.
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