The Corpus Christi City Council approved Tuesday a water rate hike after City staff explained that it will reduce costs for many.

Staff cited a chart showing that the average water customer in Corpus Christi uses between 3,000-4,000 gallons of water a month. That means the average bill will increase between $1.15 and $1.73 each month.

The savings comes from a reduced wastewater rate which negates most of the average increase. That means the average wastewater charge will be reduced from almost $5 to just over $8 a month.

The rate hike is needed for water quality improvements.

"It's costing more to produce. If you'll remember, we added chlorine dioxide in order to help stabilize the water. That's an increased chemical cost," Mark Van Vleck said. "That's almost $2 million. And then the other is future capital improvement costs that we're going to need to fund, and a lot of them are at the treatment plant; but there are also the collection, or distribution system."

Van Vleck said some of the improvements have been mandated by the federal government having to do with the City's wastewater system. The hike will raise about $16 million a year, which means that the City will be able to pay for the improvements without seeking bond financing.