SAN ANTONIO -

Officials with the San Antonio Water System plan to ask the city council for possibly two rate increases that would take effect over the next two years.

The first proposed increase of 5.1 percent would take place at the start of 2014. The increase is projected to add $2.59 to the average water bill of SAWS customers.

The second proposed increase of 5.3 percent would take place in January 2015. Both increases would ultimately add around $5.40 to the average bill of $50.

SAWS stated in an email the proposed rate hikes have been reduced from their original projected rate increase of 13.5 percent for 2014.

SAWS stated it cut more than $10 million in costs and operating expenses, and eliminated 41 positions to reduce the proposed rate increase.

The rate increases would help fund system upgrades and EPA requirements, help bring water supply projects online and help to inspect and clean aging sewers throughout the city.

The SAWS Board of Trustees is scheduled to review the proposals on Oct. 1 and vote in November.

If approved by the SAWS board, the proposal will go to San Antonio City Council for consideration later in November.

SAWS stated the utility will host numerous community meetings to detail the proposal and receive input.