Some 6.13 million yuan ($999,870) of fines were issued to 88 companies for violations resulting in underground water pollution in a 40-day campaign in North China, the Ministry of Environmental Protection said Thursday.
Starting in late February, the campaign covered 25,875 companies that discharge waste water and a total of 558 violations were investigated.
The campaign was especially organized to investigate companies that discharge industrial waste in Beijing and Tianjin municipalities, as well as Hebei, Shanxi, Shandong and Henan provinces.
Authorities found 55 companies discharging or storing waste water using wells, sewage pits, ditches and other channels that did not feature leak-proof materials.
In February, microblog posts indicated that some factories in the city of Weifang in Shandong Province had disposed of waste water by forcing it underground, thus polluting the local water supply.
The ministry said that last year, underground water in 57 percent of monitoring sites across China was polluted or extremely polluted. In addition, 298 million rural residents do not have access to safe drinking water.