The Long Beach Utilities Department headquarters at 1800 E. Wardlow Road. Photo by Jason Ruiz

The Long Beach Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing over a proposed 11% increase in water rates and an 8% increase in sewer rates.

The hearing is required by a state law that allows for public opposition and protests over proposed increases in taxpayer-funded services. The increase cannot go into effect if a majority of ratepayers object.

The increases together total about $7 per month for the average household. Gas rates are also going up by roughly $2 per month, per household.

The increases were approved by the Long Beach Utilities Commission in June. Officials said the increases were necessary to pay for the increased cost of water and maintenance and infrastructure improvements related to climate change and improving customer service.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 19, at the Long Beach Utilities Administration Building, 1800 E. Wardlow Road.

At the close of the public hearing, the board may adopt new water and sewer rate increases, as proposed, if a majority of ratepayers do not object.

Long Beach water and sewer account holders may also submit a formal protest via an email to [email protected] or in writing by sending a written protest by mail.

The rate increases will also have to be ratified by the Long Beach City Council.