A swimming pool in Benfleet was closed over the weekend after supplies of chlorine were blocked by the current war in Ukraine.

Runnymede Leisure Centre was forced to close its pool on both Saturday and Sunday after they ran out of melclorite, a granular product containing chlorine used to treat the water make it clean.  

The leisure centre on Kiln Road, run by Castle Point Council, gets these ingredients from manufacturers in Ukraine and said the current Russian invasion has caused disruption to these supply chains meaning the pool was closed and classes cancelled over the weekend.

In response to the issues councillor Andrew Sheldon, leader of the council, said the issues showed how wide of an impact the war was having.

Echo: Leader of Castle Point Council Andrew SheldonLeader of Castle Point Council Andrew Sheldon

He said: “It is frustrating because the weekend is a busy time. We as a council understand with the terrible events going on supplies coming out of the country are going to be affected. I think people understand that.

“We now have a better idea of alternative suppliers in case this situation happens again. It’s not just Castle Point facing these challenges, across the country people are facing these issues due to the horrible events in Ukraine.    

He added; “It might be a slight inconvenience to us but it’s entirely understandable due to these events. Its easy to think of them as far away before they start affecting you.”

New supplies of melclorite were delivered to the council yesterday afternoon and have been supplied to the pool which reopened to the public at 7.15pm last night.

While Runnymede had been affected a council spokesman said other swimming pools in the borough use a liquid which was not impacted by the supply problems.  

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They said: “We had to close Runnymede pool on Saturday because we had run out of melclorite, the granular product used to treat the pool.

“Our orders from our usual supplier had failed to arrive last week due to the fact that some of the key ingredients are made in Ukraine, and on top of the existing covid-19 disruption there is a national shortage.

“We have managed to find another supplier who still has some in stock and a delivery is expected this afternoon.

They added: “The pool at Waterside Farm uses a different chemical and is unaffected at this time.”