Just what we need. Another shortage. This one could potentially put a damper on summer fun.

I hate to be a buzzkill, as I'm looking forward to the warmer weather as much as you are.

This is an odd one, but New Jersey could face a chlorine shortage as many are getting ready to open their pools.

My first question was, why? There seem to be two reasons.

First, in August of last year, a chlorine plant just outside Lake Charles, Louisiana responsible for making a bulk of the U.S.’s chlorine tablets burned down after  Hurricane Laura brought the regions to its knees. This put a huge dent in the production of chlorine tablets.

COVID-19 is the second reason. Of course, it is, right? With many stuck at their houses with few to no outdoor options available last summer, it caused a spike in the number of new pools. More pools equal more chlorine demand.

The average 50-pound bucket of chlorine used to cost $75 to $85, it now costs $140 and is forecasted to hit as high as $160 as the warmer weather approaches.

Translation, stock up on chlorine now.

Area pool supply stores are already putting limits on the amount of chlorine you can buy. Most are setting the limit at one bucket per customer.

Sound familiar? This is giving me flashbacks to toilet paper, Clorox wipes, and paper towels.

With the real chance that we could run out of chlorine, we start looking at the options. We can't go without chlorine. Nasty and dangerous bacteria will grow in that water really quickly. According to Popular Mechanics, there are two alternatives to chlorine.

First, there's Bromine. Bromine is a sanitizing chemical that, like chlorine, kills algae and other gross stuff in your pool. Bromine is the only chlorine alternative that doesn’t require you to purchase additional equipment.

Choice number two is saltwater. Fun fact. Trendy saltwater pools still have a small amount of chlorine. We're not going to run out of salt. However, to make this work, water is salted, and then a generator turns the salt into chlorine. Very, very slowly. Science is cool, huh? It's also expensive as you'd have to buy a special system for this setup.

My advice, stock up for the summer NOW.

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No pool? There's always the beach! LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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