Mililani, HONOLULU – The streets of the bedroom town of Hawaii were baffled by the hearsay that was spreading across the town. Agricultural pesticides were said to have contaminated Mililani’s drinking water. Mililani was once a plantation field, and pesticides were present during that time, but now that it had become a town, who would have wanted to have an infected drinking water?

The issue happened in 1983, when the residents of Mililani had become worried of the water they had been drinking. At first, it had appeared normal. However, the people in the community had begun noticing strange effects of the water to their body systems. They had thought that something had gone wrong so they had decided to examine the water in the town. The results had reported that the drinking water in Mililani was contaminated by agricultural pesticides namely Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) and Ethylene Dibromide (EDB). This issue had been an alarming one for the inhabitants of the then uprising suburban town in Hawaii.

Mililani residents had made a move regarding the issue. They were determined to come up with a solution. They had built up courage to talk to the developers and to the city officials. Eventually, they had organized campaigns to address their concern. These efforts had paid off when the national officials had noticed their problem.
Since Mililani already had wells, the developers had then agreed to install a $2.5 million carbon filter system for the town’s accessible wells. New wells were also drilled by the state of Hawaii to provide clean water to the community.

The efforts of the Mililani residents were undeniably extensive. They had gone far to regain the cleanliness and purity of their drinking water. Their corresponding actions had awakened the national attention of the issue regarding the contamination due to pesticides.

Mililani’s civic spirits were then recognized by the National Civic League. The town of Mililani was labeled as All-America City in 1986. Up to date, it is the only community in Hawaii to have received that honor.
Mililani Town had set a sign upon entering which says, “Mililani – 1986 – All America City.”

John Miller
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