FRUSTRATED business owners fear a 40-week schedule of water works could dampen their takings.
Mold is to be hit by 10 months of works to upgrade its water mains to help combat increased levels of iron in the town’s drinking fluid.
But businesses fear trade could be hit by the project which begins in mid-October, coming when work to revamp Mold’s Daniel Owen Square is still under way, and taking place two years after lengthy gas main repairs previously disrupted the town.
Welsh Water is investing £575,000 in upgrading the cast iron water mains after iron levels breached those set by the World Health Organisation.
The company confirmed there is no health risk but said the work was necessary to prevent discolouration of the water.
“It is going to be terrible,” said Martin Grafton, of Earl Road butchers Williams and Grafton Ltd. “I am worried about how it might affect trade both for myself and the town as a whole.
“When people realise Mold will be affected by these works for 40 weeks you wonder whether they will be put off from coming.
“But the timing is wrong. Work to the Daniel Owen Square won’t be finished when these works begin so I think it could have been timed better.”
Welsh Water began consultations with traders and residents on July 23 with an event at Mold Town Hall to discuss the scheme.
Project manager Denise Yale told Mold Town Council the company felt it important to contact businesses and market traders early to outline the plans.
“We want to work with them to ensure they are fully aware of what we are doing,” she said.
But Mold town centre manager Dave Hill has said he also has concerns about the potential economic hit, saying: “Both traders and I are extremely concerned about the impact on the town.”
Katie Duplock, owner of Dawnsio Dance and The Party Shop on the corner of Earl Road and Mold’s high street, fears access into the town will be a problem for shoppers.
She said: “I do have concerns because some roads and pavements will surely be blocked off. It will have a major impact – people won’t want to come here if they can’t get around the town.
“The work will begin in October which is our busiest time of year coming up to Halloween so the timing for us isn’t ideal.
“I am also worried whether we will have problems taking deliveries.”
Welsh Water has assured customers no work will take place over the Christmas period in order to cushion the impact on businesses.
But Ann Murphy, manager at the Viyella CC clothing store on the high street said: “It is a bit demoralising because we still have targets to meet.
“January is a quiet time for us and this will only make it even worse.
“I know there is no good time to do the work but people will be put off coming to Mold.”