ILLINOIS (IRN) — The COVID-19 pandemic has put many things in short supply, from hand sanitizer to bicycles, but now there is a new one as the temperatures climb into the 90s: Backyard pools.
Many municipal and community pools remained closed this summer, prompting some families to find alternative ways to cool down. Sales of pools soared this spring, causing many Illinois dealers to sell out. With pool factories closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, the supply chain remains backed up.
Tammy Quast, of Wet Pools and Spas in Effingham, said if you want a backyard pool, it may be a while.
“Part of it is materials, and part of it is the fact that we sold out of what we had,” Quast said. “We are not a big store, so we only do about 20 in-ground pools a year and we are booked all the way through next year.”
Bill Rist, who owns Blue Heron Pools in Normal, said people can blame the shortage on the pandemic.
“Everybody in the world wants a pool this year,” he said. “They figured out they had to stay home and start enjoying life.”
With community pools and city beaches closed, safety experts fear there could be an increase in drownings if people venture into swimming areas that are not protected by lifeguards. The American Lifeguard Association reports on average about 375,000 people drown each year globally. The association said that number could approach 500,000 this year.
Those in the market for a pool may want to get on a waiting list.
“I told a lady yesterday it would be Spring of 2022,” Quast said.