Residential Pools and Spas

Salt runs dry as impact of flooding hits

March 9, 2022

The devastating floods in Queensland and New South Wales have left consumers in desperate need of help from pool and spa professionals. While many are meeting that challenge, more could be done if not for a shortage of chemicals, particularly pool salt.

JC Pool Services has shops in the Brisbane suburbs of Norman Park, Fairfield and Wishart and employs seven pool technicians.

Area manager Josh Higby says they have been inundated with calls.

“Sales and service calls have been off the charts – but the stock situation is crushing. We just can’t get a hold of anything basic,” Higby says.

He says it is virtually impossible to get salt, chlorine and buffer in Queensland at the moment.

“We’re always prepared on floc,” he says. “But I’ve sold 500 units across the company in a week.”

He says that while the surging demand for chemicals and service calls has broken all sales records, they would have done close to three times as many sales if they had access to more chemicals.

“We ran out of salt last Monday,” he says. “And we burned through eight pallets of  Magnapool in nine business days.”

An island in the flood

Fortunately they weren’t flooded out themselves, although the hillside shop in Fairfield became an island, with water all around and only one road in.

“We lost power in two of our stores and we had some trouble with a few techs getting to work because they were flooded in,” he says.

“We ran generators at the two stores and supplied chemicals just on good faith because there was no power for payments, so we took names on pieces of paper. We tried to do what we could for the community and sort out as many pools as possible.

“We normally do about 60 pools a day, but as of Friday we had that number plus another 200 on our list. We managed to service about 80 per cent of them last week, and the rest this week. But our pending system is still full.”

He says there is a huge demand for draining and cleaning swimming pools, but that’s not possible at the moment.

“There’s a lot of pools along the Brisbane River and we just can’t drain them yet. I saw a pic of a pool that popped in Wishart because the water table was still too high. It will be at least another week before we can think about draining, possibly a couple of weeks depending on the amount of rain we get – and we’re expecting another big downpour.

“Mostly people are after salt – its affecting everyone really hard – they can’t run their chlorinators without it. So people are having to buy chlorine and dose the pool with it, which is just adding  more pressure to everyone.”

Higby wasn’t in the industry during the last giant flood in 2011, but people in the know tell him this one is bigger.

“This is the worst weather event I’ve ever seen, and the owners say this is worse than 2011 – more people with more problems.”

If you have a story, images or videos relating to this disaster, please contact SPLASH! editor Chris Maher at or on 0412 048 639.


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