To avert a $500,000 shortfall, the City Council decided to raise water rates 4.3%, boost water service fees and add a 3% late-payment charge.
They will take effect Oct. 1, except for the late-payment charge, which will go into effect Jan. 1.
Under the new rate schedule, the average residential customer's monthly bill will increase 61 cents, from $14.31 to $14.92.
The new rate will remain less than that charged by neighboring water systems, except for the City of Los Angeles, whose monthly bill averages $14.69. The rate comparison prepared by city staff showed that the highest monthly bill--$26.81--is charged on the Palos Verdes Peninsula by California Water Service.
Water rate increases in Torrance in the preceding three years have amounted to 5% and all were passed to compensate for the increased cost of water that Torrance buys from the Metropolitan Water District.
The increases in water service fees affect charges for starting water service, installing a meter, supplying automatic fire protection systems, engineering, inspections and overhead. The service fees have not been increased since 1983.