Increased costs for importing water from a Los Angeles-based supplier will force the City Council to weigh raising rates for residential water customers in early October, Mayor Jerry Sanders said today.

The higher water prices set by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and already passed through to the San Diego County Water Authority, the city’s wholesaler, will add additional $1.40 to the average residential user’s monthly bill if the proposed increase is approved by the City Council, Sanders said. The increase would take effect in 2008, the mayor said.

At the same time, the city’s settlement with consumer advocate Michael Shames will decrease the average resident’s monthly sewer costs by $3.25 for the next four years, beginning this November. The city settled with Shames in a lawsuit that claimed the city’s wastewater rate structure overcharged residential customers by $200 million to subsidize industrial ratepayers.

Both the settlement over the higher import costs are indepedent of the council’s decision in February to increase both water and sewer fees over a four-year period.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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