Water rate decision postponed

The San Diego City Council today postponed approval of two water rate increases, one of which would cover the cost of a “toilet-to-tap’’ sewage recycling study.

The council put off a vote on the rate increases until tomorrow to give Councilwoman Donna Frye, who is out sick, a chance to weigh in.

The first water rate increase, which would amount to $3.31 extra per month for the average single-family customer, is intended to offset the higher cost of imported water from the San Diego County Water Authority.

The other hike would pay for an already approved $11.8 million, one-year wastewater recycling pilot project to test the feasibility of using recycled sewage to supplement San Diego’s drinking water supplies.

The rate increase, which would expire after the cost of the project has been recouped, would amount to $1.19 for the average single-family residential water user in San Diego.

Both rate hikes, if approved, would take effect Jan. 1.