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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.

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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.