Get ready to flush some more money down the toilet: the NYC Water Board approved a water and sewage rate hike of 5.6 percent yesterday, effective July 1.

The Board and the Department of Environmental Protection say the hike comes courtesy of big projects like the Staten Island Bluebelt program, which will help manage stormwater more effectively, and the Watershed Protection Program, which takes care of upstate water feeding the city’s reservoirs. “Any increase can be hard for our customers, and we will continue to look for ways to further tighten our belts and work with our regulators to reduce the burden of unfunded mandates so that New Yorkers get the best possible water and wastewater services at the most affordable rates," DEP Commissioner Carter Strickland said in a statement.

Last year, the Water Board raised water rates 7 percent and in 2009 they hiked it up 12.9 percent, so maybe we should stop blaming those subway poopers for trying to save some sewage cash.