CONGERS, NY (CBS Newspath)- During the pandemic, we’ve seen shortages of everything from flour and toilet paper to used cars. Now there are fears of another shortage that could impact summer fun.

Pool owners may be ready to dive into summer, but a growing number are having trouble finding an essential product.

Bob Holt is the general manager at Aquavita Pools in Pennsylvania and says there are short supplies of chlorine tablets. “This is by far the most challenging season we’ve ever had. This is the first time we’ve ever experienced a shortage of product,” he says.

The pandemic is part of the problem. Thousands of families stuck at home during the first few months of COVID decided to build a pool. The higher demand is coupled with lower supplies after a fire destroyed a chlorine manufacturing plant in Louisiana last year. Some stores are sold out of tablets and online prices have doubled on some sites.

That has pool maintenance worker Pablo Bautista turning to liquid chlorine, which is harder to use, but cheaper and in greater supply – for now. “The customers, they don’t want to spend money,” he says.

The chlorine issue has an increasing number of pool owners switching to salt systems. “All you need is just bags of salt, you put it in and you’re good to go. You rarely need to refill your pool with salt,” says Aris Terteryan, an employee at Discount Pool Mart in Los Angeles.

For chlorine users, shortages are expected to continue and experts believe prices will stay high through the end of the summer.