A proposal by Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz to give residents frustrated with brown water a break on their utility bills was cast into doubt today.

Katz floated the idea on Monday of homeowners getting some cash back on their water bills if they can prove they're not getting clean water.

But Coun. Dan Vandal, who chairs the city'sworks and operations committee, said it may be difficult to quantify how much money people should get back for having brown water.

"People use more detergent to clean their laundry. Is that something that's chargeable?" Vandal told CBC News on Tuesday.

"I guess it just becomes what's verifiable and what's not, and what's impossible to administer and what is possible to administer."

A number of Winnipeggers have been getting fed up with brown-coloured water occasionally flowing from their taps in recent months and complaining about how much they are spending on alternatives.

Some are using more bottled water, while at least one person has publicly refused to pay her water bill in full.

This week, Brenda Maxwell said she plans to deduct from her bill the amount of money she has spent on bottled water since she first experienced the brown water problem.

Last week, Vandal's motion to reimburse eligible residents for damage to their laundry from brown water was passed by a city committeeHe said that proposal is expected to be approved by council on Wednesday.

"Once the initiative is approved, it will go to the claims department for them to work on the criteria by which they will administer this program, this initiative," he said.

As for what's causing the brown water, Vandal said a third-party report on the issue should become available in the next four to six weeks.