Taxpayers in Ottawa should prepare for a big jump in water and sewer rates after the city's environment committee approved a long-term plan to replace pipes across Ottawa.

The plan to invest $2.1 billion over 10 years will see the average annual rate in Ottawa to jump to more than $1,000 by 2020-21, a 74 per cent increase over a decade.

The city said it needs to raise rates for a number of ongoing projects, including the replacement of all pipes on roads where construction work is being done.

Councillors said they wanted to avoid a situation like last year's Woodroffe Avenue water main break, with some suggesting if the city did not pay now, they would pay later.

The plan calls for a six per cent increase in 2012, raising the average annual rates this year to $668.19.

Rates would rise seven per cent in 2013 and 2014, six per cent in 2015 and 2016 and then five per cent in the foreseeable future after that.

City council is expected to approve the plan Wednesday.