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Grahamstown - Forty-two residences at Rhodes University in Grahamstown are without water due to failed attempts to repair a pump, the dean of students said on Wednesday.

“The most recent report from Makana municipality indicates that the planned repairs on the Waainek pump were not successful, and the pump is still not operational,” Vivian de Klerk said in a statement.

The university has been without water since last Tuesday.

“As an interim measure, water is now being diverted from the Fish River scheme to fill certain dams in Grahamstown, and it is hoped that the water will reach residents by late this evening.”

Students were given two litres of drinking water a day during meal times at dining halls. Water was being provided to as many residences as possible for flushing toilets.

“The university is monitoring the impact of the lack of water on student health, and there is currently no cause for concern. I urge all students to be meticulous about issues of hygiene,” De Klerk said.

The municipality said technicians were working on the problem.

A problem with the pump's motor had been fixed. Now, however, there was a problem with the device which turned the pump on and off, depending on the water level in the tank, spokeswoman Yoliswa Ramokolo said.

“Maybe by the end of the week the system will be working. At the moment water trucks are giving out water to all affected areas.”