DEP Proposes 7 Percent Water Rate Hike

Water rates could go up by 7 percent for about 836,000 customers in New York City beginning on July 1.

The increase is the lowest in seven years, according to the city's Department of Environmental Protection. DEP says the increase is largely driven by debt service costs, including unfunded federal mandates.

The department says water bills will increase by about $5 a month — or $60 a year — for single family homeowners who use an average of 80,000 gallons of water a year.  

The rate increase is expected to save $98 million a year, according to the DEP. The department also said it’s proposing a $196 million cap on rental payment through 2015, in an effort to prevent additional increases.

The city's water board will hold five public hearings on the proposal, in each of the five boroughs, before it votes on the proposal in May.