TOBIN Consulting Engineers were appointed by Kylemore Abbey and Gardens Ltd. in December 2020 to undertake an initial assessment of the existing water supply to the estate, and to prepare a Risk Assessment Report that identifies and ranks all potential risks to business continuity at the estate that may arise from the operation of the water supply.
Kylemore Abbey received over 560,000 visitors in 2019, making it the 7th most popular visitor attraction in Ireland.
In the 1860s, Mitchell Henry MP, a wealthy businessman and liberal politician, inspired by his love for his wife Margaret, built the 1000-acre estate and improved the facility over subsequent decades. Since 1920, Kylemore Abbey has been owned and run by the Benedictine community of nuns. The nuns were invited to take over the estate following the destruction of their home in Ypres, Belgium during World War 1. The estate features the Victorian Walled Gardens, one of the last walled gardens built during the Victorian period in Ireland. It was so advanced for the time that it was compared in magnificence with Kew Gardens in London.
The water supply to the Kylemore Abbey and Gardens dates back to the 1860s, when the estate was built. The catchment for the water supply is the Mweelin River, which drains part of the Twelve Bens range. From the intake, raw water is conveyed via a raw water main over a distance of 720m, to the water treatment works. The water supply serves all areas of the estate including the Abbey itself, Kylemore Abbey Global Centre (University of Notre Dame), Mitchell’s Café, the Tea House at the Walled Garden, Henry’s Express Coffee Shop, the Craft and Design Shop, and the Chocolate Kitchen.
TOBIN prepared a Risk Assessment Report in January 2021, focusing on risks that had the potential to affect business continuity at the estate. Risks were ranked and the water treatment process was highlighted as one area that required upgrading to meet current best practice.
TOBIN subsequently assisted Kylemore Abbey and Gardens in the procurement of an upgraded water treatment facility, which was based on pressure filtration, UV disinfection and chlorination, together with appropriate control, monitoring and automation. Glan Agua Ltd. were appointed in April 2021 to install the new water treatment system, and a fast-track approach was required due to the estate opening up, post-COVID, in late spring 2021. The new water treatment system was commissioned only 15 weeks after the commencement of construction and delivered treated water to the estate in August 2021.
TOBIN are proud to have been associated with the project, which has enhanced the tourism potential of the estate.