A Winnipeg councillor says residents who make claims that the city's brown water has ruined their clothes should be reimbursed.

So far, the city has turned down 52 claims for laundry since the city's water became discoloured. And it's had more than 1,300 complaints.

St. Boniface Coun. Dan Vandal said the city should change the charter that gives the city the right to deny those claims for damage to clothing or linens.

"I don't think that's fair to the people we represent," he said.

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"And I am going to be making a motion asking the province for an amendment to the Winnipeg Charter so that we, the city, can reimburse our citizens who have experienced legitimate laundry damage from brown water."

A city spokesperson said in an email that "any citizen can submit a claim." But she also quoted the City of Winnipeg Charter, which says: "The city is not liable for damages caused by the quality or content of water supplied by the city unless the water does not meet accepted standards of purity established under provincial regulations respecting health."

That is, Winnipeg's water has to be undrinkable before the city will pay out any claims for damage to laundry.

Vandal disagrees.

"I think when you have laundry that's spoiled by our water we should reimburse citizens."

Officials still aren't sure what's making the water brown.