NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) _ State regulators have approved new water rates for Newport and Middletown that will increase the average homeowner's bill by 17 percent and the average business's bill by 20 percent.

The Newport Daily News reports that the state Public Utilities Commission approved the new rates Tuesday.

U.S. Navy officials refused to agree to the rates, saying the water usage at Naval Station Newport was overstated in the rate plan. Regulators asked Navy and Newport officials to continue collecting data on the Navy's water use and report back to the commission.

The new rates take effect May 1. The average quarterly bill for Newport and Middletown homeowners will increase from about $115 to $135. The average monthly bill for businesses in the two town would increase from $83 to about $100.