What do your patrons know about healthy pools? Perhaps more than you might think, thanks to Linda Golodner, president emeritus of the National Consumers League.

Golodner became CEO of the Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy organization in 1985 (her title was later changed to president), and under her leadership, NCL became actively involved in promoting healthy swimming.

Though Golodner stepped down from her post last fall, she remains actively involved in NCL as a member of the board of directors and is a founding member of the Water Quality & Health Council.

“Safety is a priority for any consumer organization and we felt that healthy swimming was an area where we could make a difference,” Golodner says.

To help educate consumers, NCL and the Water Quality & Health Council presented the Healthy Pools campaign, a 2007 blitz that included information on a number of pool health issues such as proper maintenance and good personal hygiene. The cornerstone of the campaign was “Sense”-able Swimming, a set of simple water quality check tips for the public based on the five senses. For instance, sight (the painted stripes and the drain on the pool bottom should appear crisp and clear) and smell (chlorine is essential to a healthy pool, but a heavy chemical odor signals a problem).

Under Golodner’s leadership, NCL was a key player in presenting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthy Swimming campaign. This ongoing CDC campaign focuses on educating the public about recreational water illnesses.

Golodner, a public policy veteran, says she hopes to continue working with the aquatics industry and plans to be involved in 2008 outreach campaigns through her continued involvement with NCL and the Water Quality & Health Council. “I think our media outreach is relevant to aquatics and is a very important component of our work in the safety and health-care arenas,” she says.