A court in east China sentenced three people to jail terms and fined them on Tuesday for fly-tipping household and construction garbage near a lake last year.
Two defendants, Wang and Lu were sentenced to five and a half years, and five years in prison for polluting environment, said the Gusu District People's Court in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.
A third defendant, Sun, was convicted of fraud and sentenced to four and a half years.
The court also fined Wang, Lu and Sun, 300,000 yuan (45,200 U.S. dollars), 250,000 yuan and 50,000 yuan respectively.
In May and June last year, Wang and Lu dumped more than 20,000 tonnes of garbage in a protected area only 600 meters away from Taihu Lake, the country's third-largest freshwater lake and a major source of drinking water for local residents. Another eight vessels fully loaded with garbage were seized.
The garbage caused water pollution, damaged the environment and caused a loss of more than 8 million yuan in private and public property, said the court.