Kalb said the increase is needed to pay for a $3 million upgrade to the city water system.
The city wants to install a Magnetic Ion Exchange Process system in 2007.
City officials say it is cheaper to implement the system now than to wait for the Environmental Protection Agency to mandate it.
Besides installing the new system, the city wants to build more water lines and upgrade existing ones.
This year will mark the fifth straight year of city water increases.
Kalb said the increase is not that big of a deal because it would be less than $1 per month for customers.
According to figures supplied by Auditor Trent Williams, Kalb's estimate is close.
The city bills water, sewer and sanitation customers every three months. The increase would affect water rates, not sewer and sanitation.
On a 3-month water bill of $45, the increase would add $3.60. Divide that by three, and the monthly increase is $1.20.
Of course, the increase would depend on each individual water bill. Williams used the $45 figure merely as an average.
Williams said the 8 percent increase would bring the city about $3.5 million to pay for the system. He said the city would pay about $150,000 to $200,000 each year on a 20-year loan term for the $3 million.
While the MIEX system is not widely used in the United States, Kalb said it has been used successfully in other countries.
In 2003, city water customers paid $279, the Ohio EPA said. That was the last year figures were available.
Scioto County residents paid $468 per year. The city supplies water to much of the county, including at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
Comparitively, the water rate in Ironton was $403 per year and $374 in Waverly.
JEFF BARRON can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 236.