A paper mill in central China's Henan Province, accused of drying up the wells and forcing farmers to buy water, has been closed for rectification, a local newspaper reported yesterday.
The plant in Xiaokuai Village reportedly pumped out most of the underground water, forcing farmers to buy processed water from the plant.
But the villagers, used to getting water for free, were unwilling to spend money for cultivating their land, and instead used polluted water.
Not surprisingly, they did not eat their own farm produce.
Investigators from the provincial environmental bureau confirmed that the water was severely polluted. The waste water discharge pipes were sealed and the factory shut, the Dahe Daily newspaper reported yesterday.
There have been no reports of a disease outbreak.
Another paper mill in Chengguan Town in Henan was forced to remove its old equipment and shut its small-scale workshop after it continued to operate despite being banned for causing severe contamination.
Several wig manufacturing factories in Chengguan have also been charged for polluting water. Most of them dumped waste water into the pits close to farmlands.
Investigators said the errant firms would be severely penalized for violations. A waste water processing factory is on a trial run in the town.
Air, water and soil pollution in China have been an area of concerns after a widely circulated online map showed that China had at least 247 "cancer villages" - most of them triggered by pollution.
Shallow underground water in China is severely polluted with 2011 data showing that 55 percent of underground water supplies in 200 cities were of poor or extremely bad quality, according to the Ministry of Land and Resources.
China's weekly story (2013.3.9-3.15)
Painting a tattoo on body with your own style
Modern life of Chinese elderly
Young & confident: 'We want to fly'
Brave young mother in the 4th year of university
China cities put on spring style
What house can you buy with 1m yuan?
Seeking a dream wedding at Beijing Wedding Expo
Girls who live like boys, play like boys