I'm contemplating one at a remote off-grid mountain location where it could go for weeks with no attention. I wouldn't think too much of it, however, rather than snow accumulating, with minimal (ie normal) freeze/thaw cycles, we've been encountering substantial melt during many mid-winter days and even rain. Yet, it's still freezing hard during most nights.
I can envision some problematic scenarios with a "first flush"...and have some ideas how to compensate. However, I would love to hear the experiences of others. Anyone?
Well, I have a full good winter on my system now. To cope with freezing issues, last fall I put a valve in so I could shut off the "first flush" during the winter and open in the spring. No issues at all. Went up to this locale this spring and found a tank full of water! So, I plumbed down to my yurt and now have running water. Super excited about that!
Well, here it is, shortly after building. It's on its third winter now. The hole in my first flush proved to be a touch big, allowing water to leak out faster than a drizzling rain could overcome. Because of this, I've just left the valve closed so as to completely bypass the washer until I have time to dial it in.
I'm very pleased with the system otherwise. Works really well and the cistern fills quicker than I thought it would. This spring, I'll be running the overflow downhill to a wood-fired hot tub I made.... then extend the roofing on the harvester to collect even more water, to help flush the hot tub.